"Progress comes in fits and starts and we're going to need to grind out this recovery."
--President Obama, responding to today's dismal jobs report that showed much greater losses than expected. The reported net loss of 263,000 jobs for September was up from 201,000 in August, and the unemployment rate of 9.8% hit another 26-year high. "I've made the point that employment is often the last thing to come back after a recession, and that's what history shows us," the President said. "But our task is to do everything we can possibly do to accelerate that process."
Meanwhile, the teen unemployment rate hit a record high 25.9%, with young minority workers disproportionately affected. At 37%, the rate of unemployed African American teens is four times the national average. "The full effects of that lost opportunity will be felt for years to come," says Kristen Lopez Eastlick, Senior Research Analyst for the Employment Policies Institute. --Jessica Shambora
"We will get in a rocket and fly around the moon if that is what it takes to get everybody together and get an agreement."
-- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on President Obama's proposed health-care reforms. While Gibbs opted for sarcasm, the President took the philosophical route, recalling landmark social reforms. "These struggles always boil down to a contest between hope and fear," he said. "That was true in MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Aug 20, 2009 7:07 PM ET
"We need to simplify a monstrous tax code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand, but just complicated enough for the insiders who know how to game the system."
-- President Barack Obama in a speech at the White House on Wednesday. The first couple paid about $855,000 in federal taxes and would have gotten $26,000 back, but applied the amount to their 2009 income taxes instead. Happy MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 15, 2009 7:10 PM ET
"Why didn't the waters part, the sun shine and all the ills of the world disappear because President Obama came to Europe? That wasn't our expectation. That'll take at least a few weeks."
--White House senior adviser David Axelrod, in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. As Axelrod quips, repairing U.S. relations with Europe won't happen overnight, but Obama got off on the right foot--helped no doubt by his rock-star status on the MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 8, 2009 5:51 PM ET
"I think if you're only thinking about yourself, your life becomes diminished."
--President Obama at a French town hall, on the importance of public service. For more on people embracing Obama's "new era of responsibility" read yesterday's post where I talk about the Serve America Act passed by Congress this week. --Jessica ShamboraJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 3, 2009 6:59 PM ET
"The hardest thing about the job is staying focused," President Obama told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes Sunday night.
Are you feeling like the President these days? Unfocused? Maybe fatally so? We're living in an age of "global A.D.D.," as David Brooks, the New York Times op-ed writer said in his column last Friday. Brooks criticizes President Obama for attempting to tackle the "four most complicated problems facing the nation--health care, MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 24, 2009 1:55 PM ET
"Sorry buddy, you've still got the job."
-- President Obama quipped that this would be his response to Tim Geithner were the Treasury Secretary to try and quit the job. On CBS's 60 Minutes last night, Obama called Geithner "as sharp and as skilled a public servant as we have." The embattled Treasury boss can finally claim a win today. His public-private partnership plan to clear toxic assets from bank MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Mar 23, 2009 6:20 PM ET
On Friday, I left you with a promise: that I'd find something new and proactive to do to answer President Obama's call to "responsibility"--which seems to be the buzzword of his Administration.
I found my "to do" this weekend--but before I tell you what I decided on, let me share briefly what I spent yesterday working on. Carrie Welch, my onetime Fortune colleague and former Most Powerful Women Summit co-chair, and MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 2, 2009 2:10 PM ET
"It's not about helping banks, it's about helping people. We cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment."
-- President Obama, to Congress on Tuesday night. It was a speech obviously written for the suffering American populace. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke followed up by telling the House Financial Services Committee that at-risk homeowners need rescuing. "Some borrowers presumably knew what they MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 25, 2009 6:58 PM ET
"You get the argument, 'Well, this is not a stimulus bill; this is a spending bill.' What do you think a stimulus is? That's the whole point."
--President Obama, in a feisty address Thursday night at a House Democratic Caucus retreat in Williamsburg, Va. Frustrated by the quibbles of Senate Republicans, Obama called the delay to pass the $800 billion stimulus bill "inexcusable."
Today's bleak jobs report--the worst since December 1974--added to MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 6, 2009 6:27 PM ET
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