President Obama will speak about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement not to run for another term in roughly an hour, the White House said just before 5:30 p.m.


106 thoughts on “FYI:

  1. I hope you will post a video of it. I get my news primarily from the internet. And I go to you first, when it relates to the President.

  2. Me too.. no teevee. So if it’s streaming live somewhere, please let us know folks, I checked but didn’t see any notice there.

  3. I think most of us get our news from the web, which makes me wonder in what shape dead tree and cable media will be in within the next five to ten years.


  5. Another newspaper bit the ink here today. Saved a lot of trees, however, doing that.

  6. I doubt he’ll ask Mubarak to move up the calendar. He’s in a very delicate situation. He’ll probably make a more general speech, making reference to peaceful negociations or something…

    I admit I wonder if this speech is necessary now. I hope all goes well.

    This is probably the most delicate moment of this crisis. Protesters are totally unsatisfied with Mubarak’s speech. I don’t blame them. The bits about necessary changes to the Constitution, the necessity to preserve order were good. The rest, not so much. This is one deluded man.

  7. I don’t know if its delusion or wounded pride. For better and worse, he’s been Egypt’s leader for 30 years. He’s done some good things, and some very not so good things. As human beings we always prefer to remember the good we do, not the bad. Perhaps he thinks his people should’ve been more grateful. And, again, culturally pride is a paramount value in the ME. Mubarak is not an automaton; he is, after the day is done, a human being, flawed like all of us. He’s still processing what is a monumental humiliation.

  8. I hardly go to American TV for news so will check here and the internet. Thanks for the heads up, BWD.

  9. Thank you BWD for the heads up! I posted the info on OFA just b/c.

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BWD, would you please create an O/B 2012 fund raiser?

    I am all for donating “.99”, or 5.99 or 10.99 or whatever from here ontill we have O/B-2012!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you a whole BUNCH for all that you do BWD!

  10. Interesting news RE Pres. Obama & Mubarak:

    BBC’s Kim Ghattas reports:

    I just spoke to a senior U.S. official, who confirmed that Frank Wisner met President Mubarak and told him he should not seek re-election or put forward his son, Gamal, as his successor. The Americans are now waiting for an answer. However, the official also said that even if Mr Mubarak did not seek re-election, it was no longer enough. My understanding is that although they have not gone back to Mr Mubarak to say he must stand down immediately, they are hoping he has figured that out on his own.

  11. Hi, hate to break into this, but you will want to go to The People’s View and watch and read, and listen to what TiMT has put together on Black History MOnth.

    It is stunning. A few hard moments, but I thought it was all necessary. dr

  12. Still pitch perfect: “Mr Obama says: ‘The process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should lead to elections that are free and fair. It should result in a government that is not only grounded in democratic principles, but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.'”

  13. “Processing what is a monumental humiliation.”

    Well said, Liberal Librarian.

  14. And it should begin now, not September.

    Praised the army, praised the people, praised the change and ignored Mubarak for the most part.

    And so to bed.

  15. This is Pres. Obama holding the door open for Mubarak to leave. If he doesn’t, the street will tell him to shove it.

  16. From the BBC: “Sultan Al Qassemi tweets: ‘Egypt’s information&internet blackout is unprecedented, ever. The US gives Egypt $1.5B, Obama can say “Tear down this wall!” But he didn’t'”

    Of course, when Ronald Reagan said it, he said it to a putative enemy. It’s a bit more difficult to be so blunt to a putative ally. I understand the frustration, but there are still no magic finger-snapping powers present.

  17. Don’t watch MSNBC. Just the usual ashats. Well, do you think he wiggled in terms of Murbarak leaving right away. The Cenk and Savannah–to tell you the truth I would like to rip them a new one. Snide, doubters. Villans.
    I could go on the hours.

  18. “And it should begin NOW” – that is a significant part of President Obama’s statement. It does not leave room for any delaying tactics. The call for “a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties” also narrows the options of President Mubarak and envisions that there will be a transition to democracy. Overall – a reiteration of principles. The transition itself will have to be worked out by all involved. If they can keep violence to a minimum, the protest movement should ultimately succeed.

  19. It seems there is no reason for him to stay in power now that the vice president is in place. So you thought Obama hedged a bit? Just curious?

  20. Great idea. My husband also is crazy for Obama, but things are a bit tight for us right now, so I will not be able to give as much as I did in 2008.

  21. Exactly, Liberal Librarian re: enemies vs. allies. Egypt is our ally, and one that we give aid to — not the case with the Soviet Union, etc.

    I have to tell say that I continue to get this sinking feeling like others, that as an African American president there will some people (including the tweeter you reference), who won’t be satisfied whatever position he takes. He’s either not doing enough (the tweeter’s position) or doing too much (the entire GOP/Tea Partiers/Kock Brothers, etc.).

    In fact, I just saw David Gergen on CNN say that PBO shouldn’t have said anything. And all of us know that if PBO didn’t say anything, Gergen’s meme would be “why didn’t the President say anything?” They are wearing me out.

    In addition, PBO gave the young protesters a shout-out, but also told them it’s in their hands and he’ll support them. He also said that Mubarak had to start the transition now, as others have noted upthread. So, what more was he supposed to say?

    People scream that we need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan for them to have self-determination, but when PBO tries to let Egypt self-determine from the get-go, then something’s wrong with him. It’s just too funny.

    The bottomline is that we know that he sent the Envoy over there to basically tell Mubarak to step down, and do it soon, and that’s exactly what I think Mubarak will do. But we also have in mind that there has to be stability in the transition, which is why we still have to deal with Mubarak.

    Finally, as BWD showed on the post about Brian Williams comment, PBO’s Cairo speech is in the DNA for this uprising, and no one will be able to deny that.

  22. RE: the internet, he said in his statement:

    We stand for universal values including the rights of the Egyptian people to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the freedom to access information. Once more we’ve seen the incredible potential for technology to empower citizens and the dignity of those who stand up for a better future.

  23. Yes its the first of the month. I was glad to see people able to buy and get what they need it made me feel good that we have a government that helps in times of need. i live in the hood and to know that my neighbors was able to buy necessities was over whelming for me. its a lot better than it was

  24. He has told Mubarack to open the internet and communication in general before. You can not order a countries internal decision making process except asking to open up. It is still Mubarack’s gov’t, is that not true? How can this President order Mubarack to either step down or do this and/or that. Actaully he came very close to it today. I say that is enough, let the Egyptian people decide their fate!

  25. geee tbqh, I love my president. Perfect speech is perfect. Smart, beautiful, amazing negotiator, humble, always ahead of everybody else, handles all matters with a quiet yet get it done gracefulness that I have never witnessed before. Lastly all the disgusting wannabe (talking heads)”presidents” can kiss his fine ass…. my humble opinion.

  26. David Gergen has a problem with President Obama for some unknown reason. When I heard him say what you posted, I just shook my head and turned the channel. He has turned into a very mean man. I feel sorry for him.

  27. i would say, though, that the dynamic of faulting a WH for meddling into the affairs of other countries, but crying for help when things don’t go well, is an old dynamic. It may be more intense now given the popularity of President Obama, but it’s not new.

    The statement of President Obama was pitch perfect. He added a bit of heat. He was right to point out that it’s not his role to decide who should lead a country, but he sent a clear and strong message of support to the forces demanding change.

  28. Yup, Lorraine. I was shaking my head, too, and I don’t know if you saw, but John King was a bit shocked as well — especially coming from a former presidential advisor.

    I mean, how is that the President of the United States doesn’t make a comment about what’s happening at that level with an ally?

    Hillary said it best — if PBO walked on water, they’d say so what, he can’t swim.

  29. I listened to it twice on TheObamaDiary so far, and basically, it said to the protesters:

    “Yes, you did”,

    and now I’m going to mop up the details.

    [ Good luck, and ignore the questions from the echo
    chamber ]

  30. Speech with right amount of urgency (No “mubarak should go today”) and encouragement with caution to the people (“I have an unyielding belief that you will determine your own destiny and seize the promise of a better future for your children and your grandchildren.” ).

    A good observation on BBC live

    “American academic, Francis Fukuyama, tells the BBC that people should not get carried away by the increasingly successful demonstrations in Egypt. “We have to be very cautious. If you look at the so-called colour revolutions – the Orange revolution in Ukraine, the Rose revolution in Georgia, or the American attempts to build democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq – there is a very euphoric moment that comes at the moment of transition, when the dictator finally falls and people suddenly realise they can speak freely, and gather and associate, and make demands. But every one of those revolutions has led to deep disappointment, because the democratic forces then could not get their act together to actually deliver real democratic governance.”

  31. The one sane voice on msnbs was Matthews. He said, well what do you think Now means? It means now! Way to go Chris.

  32. Because Obama is the only adult in the room, here’s what I think: Mubarak will not run again and this gives Egypt time to run free and open elections, so the people know exactly who is in charge. Even if justified, there is something about a mob demanding (and getting) regime change that disturbs me.

    Is it ‘satisfying’ like you’re watching a TV movie? Should it have to be? It’s real life. This is statesmanship from this President, the likes of which we haven’t seen in generations.

    And they get all petty about it, from all sides.


  33. When he said no country can pick your leader. That was major to the meme of the Us wants to take over.

  34. Exactly. I would venture to say that the Revolution is the easy part. It’s what comes after where there’s all the hard work, and where everything can go horribly pear-shaped. As human beings we have every right to be euphoric right now; we can’t help but be with the images we’re seeing, and the bravery of the people in the street to confront a strongman. But we have to realize that after, after is where the hard, messy work begins, and things won’t be as rosy or clear-cut.

  35. Mary Dejevsky: Is Obama Egypt’s great enabler?

    The US President’s words have gone with the grain of Middle East societies in a way that the sermons of Bush and Blair did not

  36. It helps that PBO isn’t threatening the Middle East with “regime change” backed up by tanks. That makes a world of difference, when you treat other countries with respect.

  37. Exactly. Here is what gets me. These people comment on every issue as if they are experts. They just aren’t, I am sorry.

    It doesn’t matter what the area is, must they speak? What they utter is nothing but their opinions. They have no more insight than the lot of us that don’t necessarily have the opportunity to have face time on TV.

    So, to my mind, they are no authority on anything, but their little opinions.

    Even if Gergen has served many presidents, that doesn’t make him an authority on every subject matter — whether it is health care, climate change, foreign affairs, etc.

    People like Gergen and others get on the TV and try to tell us what they think this president should and what she shouldn’t do. I would advise them to go and throw their hats into the race, run a campaign, then come back and talk to me.

    Until then, all I see is ther lips moving and I hear nothing, absolutely nothing.

  38. Gergen is upset because *he’s* supposed to be the Republican that Democrats love. Instead, it’s Sec. Gates.

  39. Amk, thats a great observation from the BBC, people want stuff now, but sometimes they have no plan how they should go about getting it, or how to navagiate the process effectively.

    I thought the President was pitch perfect, he acknowledged: the protesters fight, how they conduct themself, and assured them that their voices were heard.

    I think he is signalling to them, that now the real work starts, which will take time and it will not be easy.

    I think it will probably take a couple of days for everything to sink in and hopeful the tranisition wll be successful.

  40. What these talking heads offer is what the politics of an issue are. On that, they have some expertise, I suppose. But, no, I don’t think Gergen is a deep, foreign policy thinker, so I have no idea why his opinion is being sought on this matter.

    It’s so different on the foreign news sources. There, if there’s a foreign policy issue, they bring on guests who have knowledge of that particular issue, not political pundits speaking for some domestic constituency. I’ve said it before til I’m blue in the face, but our media experiment is failing, badly.

  41. Sweet Tweety is, I think, more often right than wrong. It’s just that when he gets it wrong, he goes into that highpitched whinge that shatters glass. He’s certainly more often right than Cenk, or Ed.

  42. AFAIK, america is the only nation that gives cable teevee punditz such an importance. For chrissake, most of them are reacting in real time, without even a second of forethought.

  43. Our entertainment culture has taken over our news media. Now, the US does entertainment very well; however, the strengths of entertainment do not translate well to news. In fact, they destroy news. Entertainment is about an immediate response; news requires reflection and thought. These pundits are booked because of their ability to think and speak on the fly. Never mind that most of what they say is bollocks. As long as they can keep up the show’s pace, they have jobs.

  44. LL, I agreed with you exactly my setiment. You right on a 100%, my friend! People like respect for sure and that man PBO is respect written all over him. That is why I like this guy.

  45. Thanks LP. Great piece.

    Money quote

    “Barack Obama took a very different approach from that of his predecessor. As presidential candidate, he campaigned against the Iraq war and expressly rejected the imposition of democracy. This might have sounded like elementary common sense, had not a majority of Americans enthusiastically signed up to the war. It was not only the perception of US self-interest. A strand of American opinion regards US-style democracy as so self-evidently good that everyone, everywhere deserves to enjoy it. If that means a whacking great nudge with some sophisticated firepower, so be it.

    The Iraq war has been a salutary experience for Americans, though who knows how long this will last? More to the point is that it enabled Mr Obama to win the White House with almost the opposite of Mr Bush’s message. Democracy, he argued, was still eminently good but had to come from within. Under his leadership, he said, the US would not dictate to other nations how they should organise their lives.”

  46. ‘The transition needs to begin now’ could not be a clearer message from the President of the United States especially in the context in which he presented it.

    Once again. No fluff, no huff, no puff, …. just simple, principle-driven, empathetic leadership.

  47. I agree that some do have expertise on some subjects. But it just seems as though, no matter what the subject matter, some of the same people are trotted out to speak to it.

    It is just mind boggling to me.

  48. Exactly. And they call on the very same people, night after night, to give their opinion or speculation, usually.
    Because you are either in the room and know what is going on, or you are not and don’t. They like to pretend they do. I thought his speech was Lincolnesque. Short, powerful imagery, to the point. I think he said the “now” to make it clear that the President has not advised Mubarak to stay on. I believe Mubarak’s speech was a surprise to the administration, thus the personal phonecall and the need to show where we stand, “A meaningful transition starting now.” Support for the protestors,the army, the public recognition that “the status quo is unsustainable.” They did not get a million people today. They have no recognized leader. I think Mubarak is thinking maybe he can beat this. Look what happened in Iran. Can they sustain the protest? People forget how long it took to get civil rights legislation here. A hundred years since Emancipation. They will not go from a basic dictatorship to a Jeffersonian democracy in
    week. It may, in fact, take decades. I watched CNN and was pleasantly surprised that Wolf treated PBO like the actual President!

  49. Exactly, and without the cowboy drama. I thought his words could not have been any clearer.

    Now means now.

  50. With each crisis we see why he is president. And with this one we see why he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Brilliantly done, Mr. President.

  51. It seems that every historic event that took place. Is now taking place under different circumstances. All happening now under President Obama. example= Hillary care- Obama Care. Civil rights- DADT, Depression- Recession it amazes me how history repeats it self and his this president having to deal with those historic events. Am i over exaggerating things LOL!

  52. I’m no historian, but I don’t think you are exaggeration at all, Makesense4tulips. President Obama is showing us how leadership should be done. He is taking each re-occuring historical event and reinventing how it should be handled. He is indeed a global leader.

  53. Wow, Richard Engel came on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and claimed that he and Egyptians don’t understand what Obama wants after listening to the speech. Obama has been unclear and won’t tell Mubarak to leave immediately. Engel is so invested in Obama being a failure that he is refusing to listen. It is sad to watch a reporter be that tone-deaf.

  54. It think you are right on. We are at a time of real change right now and we are lucky that we have a president who is able to embrace the change. Other presidents have fallen short at meeting the change challenge.

    I can’t imagine another U.S. President bluntly telling Mubarak to start his transition now.

  55. g, I hope you know that you are a special person. I am so happy that you are part of this site. By the way, your avatar is beautiful. Will you tell me what it is?

  56. Beautiful writings by TiMT on Black History Month! More of this history, in greater depth, still needs to be taught in our elementary schools.

    Reminds me of an inscription I saw on the outside of a synagogue when I was in elementary school a hundred years ago about the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, which I’ve never forgotten. The ending was “We vowed to remember it all – remember and never to forget.”

  57. Yup. After 30 years mollycoddling of a repressive regime, all under the guise of protecting Israel, I admire PBO’s guts to steer away from the usual politics.

  58. I have not liked Engel for quite sometime. I think his claims about how people feel, are clearly his views. I did not like Jamie Rubin as well, he always knocks Obama efforts, and tonight he implied that Hillary should have been the spoke person on this.

  59. tulips and cj did some googling around because I remember this happening in CO, it happened two years ago on February 1, 2008!

  60. Change has come to Washington!!! God bless this 44th President and his team. We pray for his strength, wisdom, calmness, and clear focus during the storm. We have his back and he surely has ours. Thankful tonight. God give him continued strength and wisdom.

  61. Obama is the enemy of business.

    US shares closed at their highest level in more than two years on Tuesday, as upbeat corporate earnings and strong US manufacturing data added to confidence in the US recovery.

    Wall Street’s Dow Jones index closed above 12,000 points on Tuesday for the first time since mid-2008.

    And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index – a broader measure of US shares – closed at its highest level since August 2008.

    But unemployment and house market woes continue to hang over the US economy.

    US shares have climbed rapidly since March 2009, when the Dow Jones index stood at 6,547 points – its lowest level in twelve years.

    Observers say that surging corporate profits and resilient of consumer spending had played a part, while intervention by the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, to buy bonds, had made stocks a more appealing investment.

    These factors had helped to ease concerns about possible economic implications from political turmoil in Egypt, and the continuing rise in the price of oil, with Brent crude going above $102 (£63), analysts said.

  62. WiW, we all should do that…

    Here ya go: 😉

    @JeffersonObama: Don’t Fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – Brookings Institution

    Brookings: Egyptians will decide the outcome, not Washington. We should not try to pick Egyptians’ rulers…..

    … Every time we have done so, from Vietnam’s generals to Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, we have had buyer’s remorse.

    Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by radical Islamists.

    Osama & Zawahiri, started their political lives affiliated with the Brotherhood but both have denounced it for decades as too moderate

    ‘Sky will not fall in’ if Muslim Brotherhood gains power in Egypt…

    From the warmongers, and w/them tryin’ to underminne our President and his Administration’s diplomatic efforts, this shouldn’t be/is no surprise:

    US Far Right Spreads Fears about the Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Key military, intelligence assets imperiled in Egypt’…

  63. Yeah, some of the Clintonites are pretty bitter that Hillary isn’t actually running the government. Personally, I trust Obama’s temperament and judgment more than Hillary’s so I am glad he’s running point on this crisis.

  64. Well, protecting Israel wasn’t a bad decision. A middle east war could easily have resulted in WWIII. Having Egypt and Israel keep the peace for 30 years did give a bit of stability to a very unstable region.

  65. I’ve appreciated Engel in the past and I was surprised this week at his comments. I may be mistaken, but I think he’s too emotionally involved in this one. He speaks arabic, he has lived in the ME ( don’t remember what country). He identifies too much with the young people who are protesting, young people who only want one thing and lack the perspective to understand why President Obama can’t be as direct as they are.

  66. Something’s up with Engel. I noticed this in this exchange with Chris Matthews the other day.

    Chris asks, ‘what did you think of the President’s briefing… he seems to be siding with the protestors and asking for the military to show restraint.

    Engel says ‘from here in Cairo it sounded differently… (so Engel is Cairoan now?) it sounded like he was giving Mubarak a pass frankly. It sound like he was saying as long as you don’t massacre the people and do a little bit better on these reforms we’ve been talking about…. and what exactly these reforms are is unclear to a lot of people (who are these ‘lots of people’ in Egypt Richard? Who didn’t know what he meant?) then go ahead and stay in power and we’ll still give you $1.5 billion a year.

    Chris: What about telling them to open up the telephones. (Engel cuts him off.)

    Engel: They’re on. They’re on. That’s what I’m trying to tell you….That happened as I was waiting in your last commercial break. The blackberry service and cellphone service were switched back on….So already we’re seeing something but this isn’t real change. Egyptians had this yesterday (really Richard? Then why was your blackberry flooded with messages the following day?)… I don’t think it’s going to change the equation but it is showing responsiveness.

    Chris: Well it’s going to show causality too because the President of the United States says ‘turn on the cellphones and turn on the internet’ and they turn ’em on.

    Most people would say there’s a connection.

    Engel: ….it could have been a tactical thing. I’m not sure that you could necessarily say that the President said turn the telephones on… you know ‘let there be light and there is light’…

    And that last statement, was the moment, that I completely lost respect for Richard Engel. I’m done with his career.

  67. This WH has my million percent trust period. But this is a complex world, no further comments from me.

  68. Indeed. No offense to Stephanie Miller, but she’s a comedian. How does she come on the Ed Show and pretend to offer an informed analysis on anything other than comedy or radio business? True for the rest of these talkers, who spend their days talking, not doing. How do they offer anything more than air between their ears when it comes to actually accomplishing anything difficult?

    Someone advised me yesterday to stop watching these shows – and I’m trying very hard to follow that advice. A world of difference to my sanity and blood pressure.

  69. Thank you so much LP2008 for the link. This is indeed a “great article.” Sadly, a great many Americans will never get a chance to read it.

  70. Protecting Israel is fine but at what cost ? More and more alienation from US, and by extension, all western countries ? Increasing radicalization of ME due to giving a pass to many atrocities of Israel overtly? That’s not a stability I can believe in.

  71. Maybe Engel should find another job. Looks like he’s lost the ability tounderstand simple English, and to remain objective.

    I also wonder why all these pundits are quick to become subjective when it comes to President Obama, and it’s always the worst case scenario.

  72. He lived in Egypt for years. He does seem too close on this issue and seems to be reporting his feelings as the feelings of all Egyptians. It’s a bit weird.

  73. It’s the same story over and over again. They cannot give this president credit for anything. It’s personal. It’s as if they feel they lose something by acknowledging that President Obama knows what he is doing. Engle’s argument that the President has authority to tell a foreign leader to step down, but has no power to have that same leader turn on the phones? That is an insane argument. The stupidity and pettiness makes my head ache. It is almost like they feel it is their patriotic duty to tear down this president. It just doesn’t make sense.

  74. They hear what they want to hear. The anti-Obama bias in the MSM is undeniable. Maybe it makes them feel superior to Pres. Obama to never give him credit, to always find his decisions “lacking”. They are so quick to call him a “failure” and take the opposite position to whatever Obama says or decides to do. It really is bizarre. There is some deep psychological stuff going on in this country.

  75. “Someone advised me yesterday to stop watching these shows – and I’m trying very hard to follow that advice. A world of difference to my sanity and blood pressure.”

    One of my friends back in the US was having the same problem. She is now watching foreign [real] news on-line and there are many stations that are good – BBC, AJ, France 24, RT [Russia], CCTV [China] and even [hold onto your seat] Murdoch’s Euro News. Besides getting real news, you also get some top-quality documentaries that will never be shown on US stations.

  76. I has NO idea that Euronews was part of Rupert’s empire. It’s amazing that it’s so good.

  77. Obamafan, the vid clip isn’t embed. But, here’s a link…

    @cspan’s VIDEO – President Obama Remarks on the Situation in Egypt: Egyptian President Mubarak will not seek re-election

    In a brief appearance late Tuesday, President Obama said that he had spoken with the Egyptian President and that Mubarak “recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and a change must take place.” The President’s speech came shortly after President Mubarak had given a statement on Egyptian State TV announcing that he does not intend to run in September’s Presidential election…

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