This reached the desks of FishbowlDC today.
Subject: correction to pool report 1 (written by HuffPost’s Sam Stein)
The first pool report quoted the president as saying it was “not the case anymore” that a student could “drop out of high school” and expect a good government job with a decent salary.
The actual quote is as follows: “Now,it’s true that not long ago, you could drop out of high school and reasonably expect to find a blue-collar job that would pay the bills and help support your family. That’s just not the case anymore.”
In the lengthy pool report, Stein goes into elaborate description about everything he sees down to the hugs and the kisses (and on which cheek POTUS plants a kiss). In one instance, “Bo Obama could be seen basking in the sun on the south lawn.”
Read more of the report after the jump…
We’re glad to see that Bo is officially a member of the family, name and all.
President Obama spoke for roughly 16 minutes Monday morning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an event for America’s Promise Alliance’s Grad Nation — a campaign to end the “dropout crisis” among the nation’s high school students. Speaking after introductory remarks by former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife Alma, the president addressed the need for accountability in failing schools and the role the government plays in raising education standards.
“Graduating from high school is an economic imperative,” President Obama said. “That might be the best reason to get a diploma but it isn’t the only reason to get a diploma…”
High school dropouts, he added, are “more likely to commit crime, more likely to rely on public assistance, more likely to lead shattered lives.”
After the speech, the president surprised the pool by deciding to walk across Lafayette Square back to the White House. He did not wear an overcoat on this pleasant day (it was 50-degrees at the time of the walk). Asked about the health report he received following a doctor’s visit on Sunday, he replied:
“I wanna make sure I’m working off some of that cholesterol. That’s a year of campaigning right there.”
He departed the Chamber at 10:39 a.m. and made it back to the Oval Office at 10:42 a.m.
The event itself was open to press and White House should be sending out full remarks shortly (check all quotes in this pool report against them). Below is some additional color.
Ten minutes or so before the president departed, his dog, Bo Obama, could be seen basking in the sun on the south lawn. At 10:05 POTUS left the White House in his motorcade for a short trip up Jackson Place. The intersection at H Street was blocked off to let the motorcade park in front of the Chamber. POTUS arrived at 10:07 and was ushered in to the building. The pool entered the front entrance shortly thereafter.
The event was held in the Chamber’s Hall of Flags room with roughly 200 people in attendance, according to a Chamber official. When the pool arrived, Secretary Powell was finishing up his address and Alma Powell spoke right after. She praised Obama for making education a top priority. “He and[Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan know and fully understand the challenges that we face,” she said.
POTUS came out with Duncan at approximately 10:21 a.m. and hugged/shook hands with both Powells. Secretary Powell sat closest to the president (on his right), followed by his wife and then Duncan. Each had a water bottle and glass in front of them.
Obama was wearing a dark suit with a striped blue tie. Reading off of notes at first, he thanked Chamber CEO (and occasional White House critic) Tom Donohuefor his “hospitality and this extraordinary venue” as well as for the Chamber’s support in this effort.
Reading of teleprompter, he went through Colin Powell’s biography and thanked him for “his extraordinary service.”
Pivoting to the actual substance, he said it was “not the case anymore” that a student could “drop out of high school” and expect a good government job with a decent salary. He noted that 12 percent of Americans schools produce 50 percent of America’s dropouts, and called for a multi-pronged approach to ending the “dropout crisis.” A fact sheet was sent to reporters Sunday evening, but as a recap, here are some of the prongs when tackling a failing school.
Closing that school for a time period and reopening and re-managing it.
Shutting down that school for a time period and sending kids to a new school
Replacing the principal of that school and half of the staff as “a last resort”
Government has a responsibility to help, the president said. “Government can help educate students to succeed in college and their careers. Government can help to provide the resources to engage dropouts… And when necessary,government has to be involved in turning around the lowest performing schools …But, as I said before, education cannot be the task of government alone.”
Duncan took notes as the president spoke. Obama drew laughs when he recounted that he had just gone to his daughter’s parent teacher conference. “She is doing very well,” he said. The speech ended at 10:37 a.m. and the president shook hands with Powell, kissed Alma on her right cheek, and shook hands with Duncan. He then walked down the podium and shook hands with attendees in the first row. Stars and Stripes blared over the loud speaker as most of the audience looked on in silence. After leaving the room there was additional applause.