Heads-Up: President Obama’s statement and Gibbs farewell

1:30 pm est. 

http://live.cnn.com/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

Obama was told of Mubarak’s decision during an Oval Office meeting, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in an e-mail to reporters. “He then watched TV coverage of the scene in Cairo for several minutes in the outer Oval,” Vietor said”

214 thoughts on “Heads-Up: President Obama’s statement and Gibbs farewell

  1. thanks bwd for the reminder, I will be sad to see him go, but glad to have him out there preparing things for 2012.

  2. I liked Robert alot. Loved it when he would let the PL have it. I am going to really miss Mr. Gibbs.

  3. Thank you, dear for the reminder. I adore Robert, he always has the President’s back. I love that about him. He also left Hannity looking like the idiot he is when he was on Fix News during the campaign.

  4. Robert, we hardly knew ye!

    When I saw Robert take down Sean Hannity, face to face, during the election campaign, I knew he was the one for the job! But I can’t wait to see what happens next with Jay Carney, and I wish him the best, too.

  5. The President will make remarks on Egypt around the time of Robert’s final press briefing.

    Can someone confirm the time?

  6. I never really cared for Gibbs as press secretary – I felt he was not forceful enough.
    I do think he is a good person and am glad he will be there for President Obama’s reelection. Plus I love how he called out the “professional left”. He and Rahm were 100% correct.

  7. The same time Gibbs is saying his farewell we also have a choice of seeing Law discussing the budget. I am torn.

  8. Now, some of the MSNBC reporters are saying that young people on the ground in Egypt, who had followed candidate Obama’s wonderful election in our country, wish they had heard more from him during this crisis.

    I am not a bit offended by these statements from the young people of Egypt, even though our President had to be very cautious that he wasn’t seen as “directing” the change in their country.

    Why?

    Well, just think: would we ever have expected young people around the globe to be wishing they had heard more from a President George W. Bush? No way.

    Cannot wait to hear from President Obama this afternoon, because now he can pretty much speak freely (yet, diplomatically, befitting the region) as he congratulates the Egyptian people for their bravery and getting the job done.

  9. Former Fox insider expose – “We Were a Stalin-esque Mouthpiece for Bush
    “http://www.alternet.org/story/149879/?page=1

    February 10, 2011 |

    Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”

    Indeed, a former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch’s cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.

    “It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”

    And that’s the word from inside Fox News.

    (much more at the link above)

  10. I can’t judge them. Once the dust settled, they’ll understand that he was with them all the time, and they’ll know that he started everything in his Cairo speech.

  11. Geithner: ‘Of course’ Congress will raise debt ceiling
    By Michael O’Brien – 02/11/11 09:43 AM ET

    The Obama administration doesn’t have much doubt that Congress will raise the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday.

    Amid demands by Republicans in Congress that any agreement to raise the debt ceiling come with serious spending cuts attached, Geithner said it was “essential” for lawmakers to vote to allow the government to borrow more.

    “It’s absolutely essential they’ll do it. And of course they’ll do it. They’ve always done it in the past,” Geithner said on CNBC. “There’ll be a little political fear around that. But it’s not something you play tough politics with. And it can’t be used as a bargaining chip.”

    The debt ceiling is one of three votes Republicans in the House are looking to leverage this year to address budget and debt issues. The GOP will first vote on a continuing resolution to fund government for the remainder of the fiscal year, then present its budget, and then vote on the debt limit. The GOP views those measures as interlocking.

    But some conservatives, particularly those lawmakers allied with the Tea Party movement, have said they won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that defaulting on the debt isn’t “a question that is even on the table,” though Republican leaders found this past week that conservative and Tea Party members might be more unwieldy as a voting bloc.

    As a way to stave off default if the Congress can’t reach an agreement, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has proposed legislation that would force the Treasury to continue paying off debt.

    Geithner dismissed such a proposal on Friday.

    “Well, it just doesn’t work,” he said. “It still would amount to default. And it’s just not a serious way, a responsible way, to help make sure we can get our obligation — you know, remember, this is the United States of America. We pay our bills. We meet our commitments. And we’re looking forward to an important debate with Republicans and with Democrats on how to make sure we bring down our long-term deficits. That’s where our focus should be on.”

    The Hill-

    ______

    BTW: Ron Allen is another Tool for MSNBC! Remember ron, if you want to get on air, take a jab at the POTUS! JEESH! It is all so transparent, as to what the MSM is doing!

  12. I’m with you – I’m not judging them either, and also believe they were inspired so much by President Obama and, let’s face it, the people on the ground here who wanted to see our own change in who was governing us (apples and oranges, but you know what I mean).

    Just meant they wouldn’t have looked to us for leadership during the previous administration, when the only response to anything amiss globally was to try to take over other countries.

  13. this is really chilling. not that we didn’t know it, but to hear it. it’s like a cold-blooded murder.

  14. I wish the source would come public. I’d guess that they might if the story actually got other MSM coverage, but doesn’t want to risk it if it’s going to die as a internet story.

    I have to believe Media Matters would have really done their homework on this source, and would have wanted certain proofs to the claims.

    I agree we all know this is true, but having this source public and talking to major coverage would be epic.

  15. Al Jazeera is reporting Obama will speak on Egypt in the next half hour. Probably for the better to give Gibbs his time, rather than folks just going through the motions with Gibbs to get to the Egypt statement. And if there is any ceremonial farewell, President Obama couldn’t take part in any light heartedness while people were waiting for him remarks on Egypt.

  16. Bingo. And whether they realize it or not, his tempered rhetoric avoided the landmine/boobytrap of the regime’s proponents being able to label the protests as an illegitimate product of the west rather than genuinely felt sentiment emerging from the grassroots. There was no reason to escalate with a bunch of “he’s a murderous dictator!!” rhetoric–that would have been really unwise.

    POTUS takes the long view, pretty much all of the time. This was a change of government for and by Egyptians, done with relatively little bloodshed. Now the hard work begins for Egyptians, and the sources of solutions are going to be inward, not imposed by Washington DC. This is a beautiful transition on many levels and for many reasons.

  17. I am confident that in the months ahead, the President will have so many words of support and offers of cooperation that they will be Obama nd America supporters soon.

    We should share ideas for how we can be supportive to the people of Egypt and also mention that our President supports them. If any websites open up that allow us to send messages to the Egyptians we need to jump on them

  18. No matter what happens, they look for ways to criticize. Terry Moran on ABC had been doing a good job.

    ABC anchor here tried to put a negative spin on the power vacuum, blah, blah. Moran said that can come tomorrow, but today the people needed to rejoice.

    Rightly so. They did it without violence, as so many wanted them to so they could have an excuse.

  19. BWD, your twitter is fantastic:

    No bullets, no bullying, no invasion, just respect, vision and courage. The only adult in the room.

    Indeed. And thank you a million times over for giving us a space to discuss these matters in intelligence and peace.

  20. Bwd remember this statement from yesterday.

    blackwaterdog

    Yea, it’s not going to work anymore. Like almost always, PBO is two steps ahead of them in understanding the people’s mood. Especially the young ones.

    February 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

  21. James Rubin is rewriting history, he said in the cairo speech that POTUS made, that obama embraced the mubarak regime! That is the complete opposite from what he said, he actually embraced democracy in that speech! WTF is this guy lying for???

    He is a fucking liar!

  22. Now that U.S. officials have told our news reporters that it was the Egyptian military who prompted Mubarak to finally leave, I am getting even more chills watching history take shape before our very eyes.

    Apparently, last night, some top Egyptian military leaders said that if he didn’t step down, they would take off their uniforms and join the protesters in the street.

    I also join in the credit being given to our own U.S. military, because many of the Egyptian military have been trained in our country – side by side with our military, getting a true picture of how our democracy works.

    Think of the momentum this will cause in other countries led by dictators who have been supported by military and security forces.

    And the beauty of all this (right now, at least) is that “experts” who are being brought into our cable news coverage are stepping up and saying President Obama’s rise to the Presidency in our country influenced and encouraged the oppressed around the globe.

    Okay, now I have not only chills but tears in my eyes.

  23. Contessa counter him with diplomacy, that President Obama gave. He can’t take he was just made a lie. LOL! I love it.

  24. Pres. Obama’s Cairo speech will one day be recognized as the catalyst it was; and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee will be affirmed in its decision.

  25. Yes, and never was the phrase “The whole world is watching” more understood and appreciated!

  26. I feel much the same. It’s also going to be good seeing him advocate for POTUS on the Sunday talk shows. We so badly need more unabashedly pro-POTUS Dems out there it isn’t funny.

  27. Thank you, Africa! I was just thinking the same thing. The nerve of him, old has-been Clinton shill! He’s just so jealous of the tremendous success President Obama is and is having. Hillary is a good secretary of state, but I don’t think she would have won the Nobel Peace Prize in her first year in office.

    I about exploded when Rubin accused PBO of trying to take credit for what happened, when that’s just a lie.

  28. At my local convenience store at the Sunoco Station (next car will be electric), there is a man from Egypt who works there. I went over to congratulate him – he could barely contain his excitement – he had is Blackberry on watching live, and all he kept saying was, “He’s gone. He’s gone!”

  29. It’s nice to have an insider saying what we’ve known for a long time. I wish he would not stay anonymous. It would have more impact.

  30. There’s an “outer Oval office”? Oh well.

    Will miss Gibbs and his pithy, often testy responses to questions during the Thursday afternoon White House press conferences. They always made for interesting listening on C-Span.

  31. “… “experts” who are being brought into our cable news coverage are stepping up and saying President Obama’s rise to the Presidency in our country influenced and encouraged the oppressed around the globe.”

    I didn’t hear that, but I’m so glad you posted it …. !!!!!!!

    Love the tears – me too.

  32. If anything, POTUS took the beyond appropriate steps of not putting the US or WH front and center into that conflict. Thus while the Egyptian people might have taken inspiration from President Obama’s own success here in the US, his themes, his messages, and even his slogans (“yes we can!”), that was a governmental change for and by the Egyptian people and efforts to label it a product of the WH were unsuccessful. IMO that was a deliberate strategy and once again POTUS walked a tightrope. But to have this sort of change in the Middle East without the US all over it front and center dictating that people had better do this and that or face our military??? My God, we need to do whatever it takes to keep this man in the WH. This is not merely a change taking place in Egypt; this is a pretty significant foreign policy change here in the US.

  33. another PUMA. These are kids that got their feelings hurt! What i think happened was, Hillary probably promised all these people a spot in her administration!
    And now they have nothing! It must hurt them!
    I say,
    Wahhhhh!

  34. Yes, Proud of Obama, all week he has been going on with this. I don’t know he can even sit there and say that people in the White House were taking credit, when no one has even spoken on this yet, except for the brief statement by VP Biden in Kentucky.

    And the VP’s statement came after Rubin said what he said. He is so green with envy.

    Last week he wanted POTUS to take a backseat and let Hillary be the face out there.

    Everyone, I am sure in the Administration has done a tremendous job behind the scenes working to see this come to a peaceful end.

    But why people like Rubin feel like they have to criticize this president at every turn is just plain dumbfounding.

  35. So, Egypt achieved a peaceful revolution in under three weeks. Anyone want to wager how long it will take the frustrati sites to condemn President Obama for not making it happen faster and more peacefuller? Maybe Jane Hamsher can get together with Glenn Beck and the teabaggers to spin this into an anti-Obama fail moment so that, instead of rejoicing that Hope and Change, inspired by America and our President, is spreading across the globe in ways that the Republicans and the neocons could only dream of.

    Funny how, when you don’t force sovereign nations to bend to your will at the butt of a cannon or the tip of a warhead, magical things can happen around the globe.

  36. The thing is it just makes him look small and bitter and doesn’t make the president look bad. It’s obvious that the president has done all he could to keep telling the world that the Egyptian people were the ones who would decide the fate of their own country and not the US while still conveying that US is with them and supporting their peaceful efforts at change.

  37. Funny he would say that. Because in the very first days of the uprising, Brian Williams was one of those who said that the uprising was in the DNA of the president’s speech.

    I have sent a note to MSNBC asking them to comment, but please comment with the facts. I told them that Rubin had made a statement that was false and nobody corrected him. I reminded them about what Brian Williams said on Lawrence O’Donnell show just a couple of days ago.

    Rubin is green with envy. He ought to stop going around telling falsehoods.

  38. Jamie rubin already said that POTUS supports Mubarak and has been trying to walk back how he has felt about mubarak! Then he said that GW was the one who embraced democracy and not obama! WTF?
    This guy is a HACK!

  39. First-hand, from a man in the Egyptian square interviewed by MSNBC:

    They felt America was with them!

    The Egyptian also said (paraphrased) that in addition to Twitter and Facebook, Al Jazeera was getting the truth out about their protests.

    Big topic in Egypt now: Where is the money? Now that Mubarak is out, he is no longer entitled to Egyptian funds (possibly some assets, which may be frozen, are in Swiss banks).

  40. I read somewhere that after Mubarak’s speech, Adm. Mullen called his counterpart in Egypt.

    I think perhaps, Mubarak told them he was going to step down and then got fooled by Saudia Arabia that they would bank roll his government.

    Every sign throughout the day seemed to indicate that he was going to step down. I doubt if Panetta would have come out and say that Mubarak was going to be stepping or that the president would have even commented on it yesterday.

    I could be wrong, but this is just an opinion I shared with my hubby.

    Indeed, it will be interesting to see how all of this unfolded when the history is written.

  41. I wish I was there to tell them that they should own this historic moment and to think about all the other times the US stepped in on moments like this and didn’t turn out so well.

    I hope Obama gives an interview to Al-Jzaeera to explain his decisions.

  42. Africa, I remember him saying that about Hillary. Man, he is so transparent. The nerve of him to suggest the PRESIDENT shouldn’t speak and Hillary should speak for her BOSS.

    They just haven’t gotten over the fact that President Obama won the nomination and presidency. Rubin thinks he should be a big shot in the state department. Sorry.

    Please shut up, Jamie.

  43. I just heard someone on CNN (did not know who it was because I am working and just listening) say that he was seeing criticism coming from the administration regarding Iran. But he said it would have been good if they would have spoken up during the Iran uprising, blah, blah, blah.

    If I remember correctly, the president did the same thing, tried to stay out and let the people uprising be theirs, all the while saying some of what he said about Egypt.

    But of course being the superman that he is, sure, what you said.

  44. I’m sure you are right and they are busy thinking up just how to spin this as a bad thing for the president. Maybe they will wait till he speaks about it and then criticize that. It doesn’t matter though. The world can see real change happening in the middle east now. Not imposed change at the point of a gun, but organic, citizen movement that has clearly stated that the president’s Cairo speech helped to motivate them and that the excitement of the 2008 election and the rise of President Obama gave them hope that someone from an oppressed class can indeed change his country and lead a movement. The detractors can spin as hard as they like but they can’t change the facts that all the world can see for themselves.

  45. I will miss Gibbs. In an intelligent country, his wit and honesty would have been appreciated.

  46. I agree. I went to Al Jazeera’s site to read a reporter’s take on Mubarak’s speech on yesterday, and he was described as narcissistic. After I read that the Egyptian people were expected to turn out in more locations in force today, I kind of felt that Mubarak would be forced to obey the wishes of the people.

    I noticed that Mubarak made a comment about not leaving due to foreign pressure, which I took as a dig at PBO. I also discovered that Saudi Arabia had been meddling in Egypt’s affairs behind the scenes. PBO was trying to balance these factors, and more, so I think he took the right position in supporting the protesters and in not using America’s power and standing in the world to force Mubarak to resign. He comes out not only being able to answer the 3 AM call, but also looking very presidential, adept at making foreign policy decisions, and the only adult in a room full of drooling idiots (MSM, Palin, Beck, etc) who wouldn’t know foreign policy if it slapped them up side their heads.

  47. LOL, please tell me that there’s not a PUMA providing “analysis” of this event. Mr. Rubin: it’s not about you, and it’s not about the nomination which THAT ONE stole from Hillary the US, even. Secretary Clinton and President Obama are doing a terrific job, but this story is really about the Egyptian people; perhaps we can keep our family drama and dysfunction out of what is a celebratory day for Egypt in terms of a relatively peaceful transition??

  48. One of the things that pleases me as a result of the Egyptian Revolution is that so many now know that they can circumvent the awful US media and get real new on the net from other sources, like AJE. The Egyptians have given us a gift as well.

  49. But, but, but, this president has NO potential to spread democracy through peaceful means. He’s a failure, a wimp, a coward, etc. The MSM, PL, frustrai, rw, and pundits say so!!!

    Rhoda, I am so glad that you mentioned the prescience of the NPP, because there were so many who were second guessing the NPP Committee’s choice in giving the prize to PBO. All I have to say to them is, “Don’t you get tired of always being proven wrong about President Obama?”

  50. Interaction with my Dish Network technician:

    He walks into the room, and sees me watching AJE on KCET.

    Tech: So, is he finished?
    Me: Yep, he resigned about 90 minutes ago.
    Tech: Wow, that took forever.
    Me: Yeah, 30 years.
    Tech: That’s what I mean!

    I can’t tell you how that warmed my heart. Just a regular joe, probably not a news junkie like we are here, and he’s aware of what’s going on in Egypt, and, more to the point, approves. This country might just make it out into a good place, after all.

  51. I’ve always liked Jamie Rubin (and he’s married to Christiane Amanpour, whom I also like), but nevertheless he has a huge overblown ego about his importance.

    Although he’s very intelligent and a good speaker (until he started giving his own opinion, after leaving the federal government), he was the spokesperson – spokesperson – for the State Department during Clinton, not a diplomat or foreign expert.

  52. …”Maybe they will wait till he speaks” — that will be a first.

    They usually know what he is going to say and proceed to whip themselves into a frenzy and tie themselves up into a pretzel.

    Then he comes out, and it is far, far, from their clairvoyant powers.

    Go figure.

    OT: Prez will not speak at 1:30. No time set yet.

  53. It’s a pretty thankless job no matter who does it. I think Gibbs did just fine and I like him as a person. I’ll miss him but I’m sure that his talents will be invaluable on the re-election campaign.

  54. Probably a day late and a dollar short: but for my fellow SoCal members who are fortunate enough to be off work today, KCET is broadcasting AJE.

  55. Probably 0.5% of the country knows the name “James Rubin”. 100% of the world knows the name “Barack Obama”.

  56. A similar thing happened to me the day before the ’08 election.

    Two “cable guys” were in my house fixing something, and one of them very quietly got into a discussion with me about voting for President Obama (mostly because I had a big Obama button out on a table!). We quietly discussed the merits of voting him in (I’m guessing the second cable guy was not a fan, so we kept it to ourselves … I didn’t want the Obama supporter to have a tough time during his working hours).

    This was in a very conservative part of Florida, where I lived at the time! Glad I moved!

  57. According to CNN, Swiss government asking banks to look into freeze Mubarak and his family’s assets there.

    Interesting.

  58. I posted a similar comment yesterday. Leon Panetta’s comments, some declaration of the egyptian military that was mentionned on Al-Jazerra… And, most of all, something in the tone of President Obama yesterday, his words ( we’re watching history unfolding”), the “non-verbal” ( I had a sense he was relieved a bit) … All of this hinted that Mubarak WAS stepping down.

    I will be curious to see if we’ll ever know what happened at the last minute yesterday to make Mubarak resist longer.

    Interesting bit about Admiral Mullen. I think that he’s one of the unsung heroes in all of this. As Bob Gates. They’ve been in constant relation with their egyptian counterparts. Their connection with egyptian military will be key to what transpires next. The military has to respect the will of the people. There are still some delicate waters to navigate.

    Anxiously waiting for President Obama’s speech.

  59. Next step will be the Israeli-Palestine agreement. After events in Egypt, it may be more likely – from my perspective … ????

  60. Not just that, but the “oh-so-fearsome Muslims” managed to bring about democracy without violence, and they greeted the military with the kisses and flowers that were promised to Americans by the Bush Administration on the invasion of Iraq. Oh, the irony.

  61. I think the way the rw rank and file respond to any criticism of one of its members could be used to explain why the person wants to remain anonymous at this point in time. I remember the way that Palin’s bots went after Joe McGinniss, David Letterman, and CA State Senator Yee, because they somehow “offended” Palin.

    I’ve also noticed that MM has been infected recently with an increase in members of the far right-wing of the GOP that have come to the site to defend Beck, even though it was William Kristol and not MM that criticized Beck for his fear-mongering on Egypt . The woman who contributed information that led to Lee’s resignation earlier this week is still anonymous, and it is probably for the same reason–the viciousness and vindictiveness of the far right. I’m also hoping that eventually the identities of these people can be revealed, but at the present time, I understand why they wouldn’t want their identities known.

  62. I worked at home yesterday, and watched AJE all day to a very disappointing end. I wish I was at home today to see the jubilant celebration! Thanks for turning me on to AJE – really spot on coverage.

  63. Rhoda, what makes you think that Israeli – Palestinian peace will be more likely now? I’m really interested in your view, as I’m rather unsure as to how this affects Israel’s position in the ME. Israel is now scared to death that when an elected govt comes to power that its peace treaty with Egypt will come under pressure. Now, if they think this, this might spur them to make peace with Palestine, in order to remove the cause for Arab antipathy towards it. If they do that, then the hardcore Islamists who want to push the Jews into the sea can be sidelined. But, there’s a hardcore rightwing in Israel which mirrors the Islamists, who want to simply expel the Palestinians and claim all of historical Palestine for Israel. Dangerous times are still ahead.

  64. Very interesting to see how in crisis like these, we see people for what they really are. Just sayin’.

    Hi BWD. Exciting times, no ??

  65. If Bibi is smart that will be the next step, but he plays the Fear Game, too, to stay in power. If protests start in Saudi Arabia, he has no choice. He should have listened to PBO a long time ago.

  66. The word “chameleon” comes to mind. Joe Scarborough is a big phony. I used to watch Morning Joke, but soon after the inauguration it became three hours of basing President Obama like a pinata. It was disgusting. And don’t get me started with Mika B. who takes wishy washy to a whole new level.

    I stopped watching a long time ago and it has calmed my nerves considerably. Oprah lost me when she started throwing bouquets at the show.

  67. Anderson cooper just said that POTUS speech has been pushed back, Cameron just spoke on the matter!

    HMMM! Maybe sll the allys give input first???

  68. This makes me so happy hearing about this, Rhoda! I can imagine that there are other Egyptians in America who feel the same way!!

  69. Change in Time Peeps. Check this out.

    February 11, 2011 4:00 PM ESTShare
    President Obama Speaks on Egypt – Exact Time TBA

  70. James Rubin is rewriting history, he said in the cairo speech that POTUS made, that obama embraced the mubarak regime! That is the complete opposite from what he said, he actually embraced democracy in that speech!

    Rubin, in his fevered Obama Derangement Syndrome, is in a pickle.

    The person currently charged with carrying out the Obama administration’s foreign policy is Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

    So now Rubin is on record, on television, elevating George W. Bush’s pre-emptive war approach to foreign policy, the Bush Doctrine, over the current “smart power” approach of Secretary of State and the President.

    At her confirmation hearing, Clinton said:

    With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy. This is not a radical idea. The ancient Roman poet Terence, who was born a slave and rose to become one of the great voices of his time, declared that “in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion first.” The same truth binds wise women as well….

    I assure you that, if I am confirmed, the State Department will be firing on all cylinders to provide forward-thinking, sustained diplomacy in every part of the world; applying pressure and exerting leverage; cooperating with our military partners and other agencies of government; partnering effectively with NGOs, the private sector, and international organizations; using modern technologies for public outreach; empowering negotiators who can protect our interests while understanding those of our negotiating partners.

    Why Rubin would want to disparage a successful, intelligent, peaceful approach to U.S. diplomacy, while disrespecting Hillary Clinton in the process, is a mystery to me.

  71. I’m starting to lean toward the idea that Mubarak may have been long gone at the time his taped speech was aired. I believe it was a very elaborate diversionary tactic. While the world was focused on that shiny object, he had already ceded power and been secreted out of the presidential headquarters.

    I have no proof of this, but I think by the time President Obama said we are watching a major transformation unfold, Mubarak was officially out of power even though the tape that would play later would suggest otherwise.

  72. 3 or 3:30? I think I heard wolfie say 3:30. In any case, I can’t wait.

    What a historic day. People Power in Egypt.

  73. You know, I think the Secretary Gates/Admiral Mullen connection with Egyptian military officers will now be of extreme importance.

    Many Americans don’t spend much time thinking, I’m sure, about the huge humanitarian presence our military has around the globe (think tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.; think Haiti, Africa, etc.). I’m familiar most with what the Navy does, when they bring their ships and medical ships into various ports. One of the most important parts of having a defense posture is gaining friendships around the world, through these and other efforts; i.e., helping to keep the peace.

    Now that the Egyptian military will be more or less in control, for a time, our U.S. military can keep on advising them how to get the good will of the Egyptian people behind them, as they strive for the next peaceful step. Something as simplistic as tanks in the street tomorrow handing out water, with handshakes all around from the military, would go a long way toward brotherhood and sisterhood in Egypt.

    Again, I don’t mean to give only a simplistic suggestion – just thinking of what could be the next tiny baby step. It’s obvious I’m not a military advisor, so you can fill in the blanks.

  74. For anyone not watching AJE, the head of the army spoke a while ago and issues statement #3, which basically said we are in control and now we are trying to figure out what that means and where we go from here.

    Biden’s speech was wonderful and another one that needs to be posted here please, BWD🙂 He was his own chatty self but sure made his points.

  75. Congratulations to the President for handling the US’s response to the uprising in Egypt so skillfully.

    At the other end of the spectrum, see the sad, willfully wrong-headed comments by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre. His take: the demonstrators (who pulled this off peacefully) showed the great value of the second amendment and toting arms. My take: just the opposite.

  76. FiredUp – You may be right. Curious, though, who could have been so stupid as to let Mubarak’s speech out there – which would obviously inflame the protesters – if he were stepping down anyway. Hope we find out, just for the record.

  77. From the BBC: The BBC’s Matt Frei in Washington says the repercussions now also depend on what the US administration says to the Israelis, hunkering down nervously, and a host of Arab princes, emirs and presidents, who will be nervously twitching their embroidered curtains to see what’s happening on the Arab Street. Suffice it to say, it is time for President Obama to earn his Nobel Peace Prize.

    Matt Frei is a DC based correspondent, and it seems that his last line indicates that he’s been taken up in the Village memes.

  78. Egyptian sense of humor

    SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi
    Joke I got on my mobile phone: “After ‘Victory Friday’ in Tunisia & ‘Liberation Friday’ in Egypt Gaddafi has decided to abolish all Fridays”

  79. But I thought Libya was a people’s democracy where the people held all power? /snark

  80. FiredUP, my husband said the same thing to me this morning shortly after the news broke that Mubarak had left the Cairo for his resort home in the Red Sea.

    His thought was that Mubarak was doing his darnest to safe face, but was doing it in the wrong way. But he thought the taped speech made him think Mubarak was had already left.

    So, you are not alone.

    OT: Anyone hear the latest joke. I don’t have it all but I will try:

    Apparently given the uprising resulting in the Tunisia President leaving the country on a Friday, and Mubarak leaving on Friday, Gaddafi has abolished all Fridays.

  81. Thanks DonnaDem
    I watched the entire interview (just love Oprah).

    Toward the end of the piece she talked about how in the 90s she interviewed skin heads who were members of the klu kluk klan, and realized that instead of showing folks how awful they were she was giving them a voice and a platform. From that show on she decided not to do any shows that did not somehow improve peoples lives.

    My thoughts exactly, a show that rants about Beck and Palin is still putting their nasty comments in front of an audience. The way to defeat the crazies is not to hate them it is to IGNORE them.

  82. One of the retired generals who’s an MSNBC consultant just mentioned one of the training evolutions involving the U.S. and Egyptian military in the past, called Bright Star. Here’s some info on a previous exercise, from U.S. Central Command in Tampa:

    http://www.centcom.mil/brightstar

  83. There have been some comments comparing the President’s approach to the situation in Egypt to his approach to the situation in Iran. There are some major differences and for very important reasons.

    In Iran, we have a government which can be viewed as hostile to the US and one which was quite capable of turning on the protestors without qualms.

    In Egypt, we had a government which is viewed as an ally to a great degree in the Middle East and one that, although perhaps willing to be violent towards small groups of protestors, was not likely to go full bore like the Iranian government would.

    In Iran, in fact, the protestors did not want there to be any semblance of US involvement in what was happening. As a result, you heard very little from the President actually supporting the protestors. What you did hear was strong statements about the behavior of the government. If he had been more supportive of the protestors, the ability to link them to the US would have been greater.

    In the case of Egypt, he actually came out on the side of the protestors more strongly, while at the same time not initially pushing for Mubarak to step down. He worked to make the case, in a warning type of way, that if the Mubarak government did not make immediate changes, they would put themselves at risk. Only when it became obvious the government was not going to make any real changes did he start pushing more for Mubarak to leave.

    There were two critical reasons for this. The first is that, as I said, the Mubarak government was an ally. If he had pushed too strongly and Mubarak had weathered the storm, that relationship would have been strained, perhaps irreparably.

    But just as important, we do have other allies in the ME, and a total desertion of Mubarak at the beginning would have told them, in effect, you can’t count on us to give you any support at the first sign of trouble. We may not like the authoritarian governments in some of the countries that we view as allies, but they are still important to us.

    I am also sure that the President and the State Department has been talking to those governments giving assurances of support, up to a point, but also making sure they see the lesson of what has happened in Egypt.

  84. What I am most surprised about is the domino effect this President has everywhere just by being himself:

    Revolution in Egypt after a speech in Cairo that merely tried to be open to Muslims.

    Fox News outings.

    Ratings of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh dropping.

    The tea party Congress Republicans making it impossible for the Republican Party to get their laws through the House.

    And, of course, having people falling in love with him everywhere he visits (“He’s so genuine”)
    🙂

  85. Mr. Frei probably wants to continue to be invited to the Friday night parties in D.C.

    Personally, I think the phrase, “hunkering down nervously” about the Israelis is way over the top. The Israelis have a very strong defense posture and are a very strong people who have turmoil all around them every day, and while they are hoping it doesn’t erupt against them and it causes them concern, I doubt they are quivering and shaking.

    Although I will admit that many “reporters” play a part in blaming the Israelis for everything, just because they want to survive, so I guess this is the lesser of two evils on how to look at their situation.

  86. Exactly – Because of the precarious situation for Israel, Netanyahu may now be forced to commit to another settlement freeze, since his unwillingness or inability to do so (hardcore right wing) is what ended the talks last time. Being of Jewish heritage myself (non-religious), I was deeply disappointed that he did not consummate the possibilities that Pres. Obama opened up for him. Now he may have less of a choice, e.g., perhaps Egypt will not reinstate the truce until Netanyahu becomes more flexible …

    Wait and see … ???

  87. For anyone who likes poetry:

    I have planted the banner of holy words in this world.

    Long after the palm tree has withered and the rock crumbled,

    Long after the glittering monarchs have vanished like the dust of dried leaves,

    A thousand arks will carry my word through every flood:

    It will prevail.

    — Ancient Sage

  88. Slightly off topic, but for those in Cincinnati, there is a Resident Scholar Program opportunity at P&G for Minority and social economically diverse Cincinnati High school students with an interest in Math & Science or engineering.

    If you know any you young person who fits this bill and would be interested, or are interested in other internship opportunities (college/MBA) in other locations, visit http://www.pg.com/careers

    The Resident In Scholar program is under job # RND00002103.

    Application deadline is Mar 1, 2011.

    If you would like more details, contact me – my email is in my gravatar information.

  89. I hope this hasn’t been posted already, so forgive me, if it has. This is a great post about Obama’s role in Cairo:

    “The brave Egyptian people deserve the credit for making this revolution happen, but it was crucial that our president signaled his support for the effort, did everything he could to protect them a violent crackdown, and finally put his finger on the scale at the crucial moment. We will learn more details in the years to come. There is no doubt that there has been division within the administration, with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even envoy Frank Wisner showing support for a continuation of the Mubarak regime. But the president didn’t waver and he kept the promises he made in Cairo nearly two years ago.

    He has not disappointed me. His leadership validates my belief in his instincts.”

    http://www.boomantribune.com/

  90. President Obama’s Comment on Egypt is still at 3pm according to the white house website

  91. State dept preparing aide to assit in transition to democracy in egypt! WOW!

    Wonder how rand paul will think about that aide?

  92. PS: I was looking for an article like that to post on my website – one that makes the link to the Cairo speech. Thanks again.

    Also:

    “… finally put his finger on the scale at the crucial moment.”

  93. BIDEN SPEAKS FIRST: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation is a “pivotal moment” in history, Vice President Biden said an hour before President Obama was set to address the news out of Cairo.

    “It’s a pivotal moment, not only in Mideast history, but in history,” Biden said in Louisville, Ky., at a lecture series with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We have said from the beginning, as an administration, that this unrest, that the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people.”

    “Even in this contentious political climate in which we work, on this issue, the United States has largely spoken with one voice, Democrats and Republicans alike, speaking with the same voice,” he continued. “This unity has been important, and it will be even more important in these delicate and fateful days ahead.”

    President Obama was set to speak to reporters in the briefing room about Mubarak at 1:30 p.m., but the White House later announced that he would be speaking in the Grand Foyer to a pool, not all reporters, at 3 p.m.

    Joe Biden-

  94. Apparently this is the (R) talking point. That this is GWB’s doing. I wonder if they would say the same thing if it had failed?

  95. It is really rather remarkable that elected Republicans have pretty much let Obama take the lead, with no sniping from the sidelines as far as I can hear. IIRC, the president received more grief from Dems, either for not going fully for the protesters, or for not considering what this would do to Israel. Perhaps the old adage that “politics stop at the water” is beginning to take hold again.

  96. I have no faith in the “left” anymore. They too let anger (righteous or not) overwhelm wisdom. I thank life for PBO’s wisdom.

  97. Indeed. I never watch “BBC World News America”, because the few times that I have watched it the program seemed like just another DC gabfest, with the same actors, just with a more tony accent. My VPN tunnel allows me to watch the other programming on BBC World, as well as the BBC’s domestic news service, so I’m well informed. The Village eventually ensnares everyone, including BBC correspondents.

  98. I again thank you for this site. I feel safe in posting here without inciting the trolls on OFA being here to say something that is disrespectful to our President. I do not like being the person that initiated their response.

    I again see where President Obama’s decision to stay out of the way of the Egyptians’ protest. I am listening to Moustafa El Gindy the VP of the WAFD speak right now about PBO making the right choice. President Obama is fulfilling his Nobel Prize award that he promised he would work towards deserving it.

    In another topic I saw Donald Trump speak about why he might run for President yesterday on an entertainment news show. His emphasis was in the world view of us has gone downhill. NOT I say. I see that the world view has gone up since PBO. We need to reflect back on this moment as proof when the campaign gets tough.

  99. I just heard a (R)epub say the same thing, that this is due to GWB’s desire to see democray in the Middle East. Look at Iraq, now look at Egypt? Which had the better impression? Who is/was President? Who did it without going to war? enough said!

  100. What will be telling will be the Israeli govt’s official statement on Mubarak’s resignation. Dore Gold was on the BBC’s Hardtalk program the other night, and he was in full “the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization” mode. He made mention of individual MB members who turned to radicalism, without acknowledging that they turned to radicalism because the MB was/is a moderate organization. Israel is definitely at a fork in the road, pulled along unwillingly. Here’s to hoping they choose the correct road.

  101. It’s like they always have to get in a little nasty dig. Posting facts and analysis is never enough.

  102. Booman has always got it except for in one occasion. Think it was the stupid NY mosque thing.

  103. And I honestly don’t think the meme will take hold, because people will see that “democracy” was imposed on Iraq at the cost of untold lives and treasure, while democracy bubbled up organically in Egypt with very little loss of life — and none of it American — and the expenditure of not one red cent on our part, just the force of ideas. Americans may have short attention spans, but I think they can see a good deal when it’s presented to them.

  104. Moustafa el Gindy, Former Member of Egyptian Parliament:

    “I want to thank America for taking the right position! For once you took the position of the people-you didn’t take the position of dictatorship! This is the right choice, Mr. Obama-you did the right choice choosing the people!…” He’s talking to Tamron Hall on MSNBC.

  105. I heard him, too. So good to hear directly from the very emotional Egyptian people, rather than through the filters of our media … or the so-called “experts” who are now crawling out from under their rocks in Has-been-wannabe-never-were City (a place I just made up :)) .

  106. Wouldn’t that make the frustrati, PL, rw nuckle-draggers head explode if PBO get another Nobel Peace Prize?! I think it should definately go to the People of Egypt and the Military. They did this through peaceful measures. I am so proud of them. I have not been this proud since President Sadat signed the peace agreement with isreal.

  107. US govt sticking to the same demands it was making before Mubarak’s departure: lifting of the emergency law, and a transition to a civilian, democratic govt.

  108. The Presidents words.

    I’m proud to be an American under President Obama.

    Powerful. Even keeled. Good strong words.

  109. AJE correspondent describing the change the protesters felt in US govt position: angry at first because it seemed we were intent on keeping Mubarak in power, then realizing that the govt was on the people’s side.

  110. It may take the israeli people to demand peace. Maybe do the same as the egyptian people, get out into the streets and demand it.

  111. I think you’re right, JoJo. If it’s left up to Likud’s coalition, there will be no peace.

  112. I’ve had mixed feelings about Oprah, especially about her efforts in Africa but many Africans just love her. My SIL’s family really admire her and say: “She has a strong heart in caring for people”

    I think Oprah is so right in saying that giving the haters and the “unpersons” a forum and an ear just gives them too much importance. People of this ilk already get too much attention on MSM. I think it is best to ignore them into irrelevance.

  113. President Obama knows it needed to be about Egyptians – I think they will come to realize that. This couldn’t be an edict from the outside. Ultimately he is not their President, they need to find their own leaders, find their own voice in the world. This is their revolution, this is their time – they don’t need the okay from America.

    If he would have backed the protesters, Mubarak could have cracked down blaming “outside forces” – he tried that, but because it was always about the Egyptians, with America calling for non-violence from both sides it allowed the critical mass to from in Liberation Square.

    Pragmatically if President Obama had backed the protesters and Mubarak used military force then what? Would America have had to send in troops? Or sit and watch as protesters possibly puffed up by America’s support were slaughtered?

    On a much lesser scale, I think this was President Obama’s approach with Congress the last couple of years. Under Bush it was all about him telling Congress what he wanted and them doing it. He wanted to empower Congress, that they are a co-equal and not simply rubber stamps and voting with “the team”. Look at the power vacuum left in the GOP when Bush left – he essentially ruled by edict, with the “leadership” nothing more than puppets to get the necessary votes.

    How many times did we hear from the Dem caucuses that they wished Obama would be more forceful with them; for him to tell them what he wanted so they could get it for him. They saw that’s how it worked under Bush for eight years and I guess thought that’s how it simply was.

  114. I think it ultimately comes from his Community Organizer days, where it’s ultimately about empowering others to be the chage they want; to become leaders they seek and not to expect somebody else to do it for you.

  115. Since he has probably looted the country while his people suffered, I don’t think he should be able to walk away with the whole Egyptian treasury.

    I don’t want him and his family to starve but how much money does one family actually need? If there have been a lot of transfers of funds in the last 18 days, perhaps the Swiss are wise to freeze accounts until it all gets sorted out.

  116. Saint Roscoe, great analysis, particularly in regard to his approach to Congress. I think he always felt the President should let Congress do its work with minimal interference from the Executive Branch.

  117. POTUS speaking now. Pointing out that this is an Egyptian, non-violent revolution.

    The message, in invisible ten-foot-tall neon letters, is “If you want to achieve regime change in the Middle East, you idiots on the right wing, you don’t do it by shooting people, you do it by persuading people not to shoot each other.”

    I imagine that governments in a bunch of countries that get military aid from the US will be getting a little nervous about what, exactly, their military is becoming. Because in Egypt, it turns out that $1.5bn a year buys you the kind of military that surrounds a square full of demonstrators and then starts handing out bread and debating the constitution. Cheap at the price. For comparison, invading Iraq costs several $billion per week plus thousands of lives plus everybody hates you.

    Which I guess is why this POTUS has a Nobel Peace Prize. Hey, so does El-Baradei. They can compare notes. I’m spotting a theme here.

  118. GWB has done much damage to our political system. I think that when he said he liked Vladimir Putin because he “saw into his soul”, what he liked was the way Putin was able to ride roughshod over Russia and turn the Duma into a mere rubberstamp. PBO has a large haul ahead of him, to turn Congress back into a responsible branch of govt, rather than a place where faction and party takes precedence over the needs of the nation.

  119. You took the words right out of my head Eclectablog! It’ll be fun watching how they spin the Egyptian people’s success into an Obama fail.

  120. Agree. Here’s what I think, the people everywhere by and large are just getting fed up and weary of the extremists on both sides. The rhetoric, the blind adherence to political “ideals” the constant upheaval doesn’t make jobs, put food on the table or protect the people.

    Most people everywhere are pragmatists. They don’t want bombast and empty words. They want peaceful lives where they can raise their families with some degree of prosperity and hope for the future.

    We will see how all this plays out in the days to come. I’m thankful we have a President we can trust to support democracy and all the people of the ME.

  121. They might have to give Jealous Jamie some smelling salts after reading this posting on the Guardian UK:
    NBC’s Richard Engel, who has done a brilliant job reporting from Egypt, gets the reaction to Obama’s words live from Tahrir Square, where he is mobbed by young men chanting Obama’s name.”

    LOL…love it! But as you unusual the Prez is a gracious as ever giving appropriate credit to the Egyptian people

  122. Now we need to pray that the next steps in the Peaceful change in Egypt is also peaceful and helpful to their wishes.

  123. No more words left today. My heart is filled with joy for the Egyptian people and my President has made me proud even more. Tears.

  124. I am beginning to think it is not a political party divide to fear such as the Democratic party or the Republican party. It is the fringes of both parties that are extremists to fear. Sometimes rigid ideology is not helpful when governing a large body of people with contrasting views. That is part of then Senator Obama’s views I embraced when reading Audacity of Hope. It seemed he was more pragmatic taking views from both parties that made sense at a point in time and that could practically be implemented to help Americans.

  125. St. Roscoe, I agree with your statement about Prez Obama’s style completely. I especially liked when you said the part about how he deals with Congress. I always said he respects their division of governmental jobs and lets Congress do their own job. I am sure that persuasion entered in but not dictatorship from the WH. His way being smeared as a weakness was wrong and hateful. I hope his gentle, intelligent ways will become more accepted and recognized as successful as they deserve to be. I pray he is re-elected to let this way become more entrenched in our politics so it may change our politics in this Country doing a way with the cowboy gun toting forced warmonger ways of the past.

  126. I saw Donald Trump say on an entertainment gossip show yesterday how he was considering running for President as he is sick of how the world is viewing our country these days.

    We must remember all of the contrasts and the positives to put out concerning our Presidents successes with his style of leadership when the election rolls around to combat Trump or other warmonger candidates. This Egyptian outcome is way up on the list.

  127. Irish news praised the President Obama’s speech as eloquent and showed pictures of the Egyptian soldiers dancing with the people in the street.

  128. Well YEAH! I had to leave for a while and just got back in time to listen to Press Secty Gibbs say good-bye.. and tell of his upcoming week.. very cute. I see though by the comments above that the President must have come out and given a speech.. so hopefully I’ll still get a chance to view that also. And things in Egypt sound to be better- has Muburak completely stepped down?

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