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Tag: Barack Obama (1-10 of 198)

President Obama and more release statements on Robin Williams' death

Following Robin Williams’ death Monday, family, friends, colleagues, and those who respected him have responded, releasing statements about the the late actor. READ FULL STORY

President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and more remember Maya Angelou

President Barack Obama is one of many who have offered words about Maya Angelou’s death, calling Angelou “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman” in a statement released today.

After news broke that Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and more released statements reacting to the celebrated poet’s death. Read them below, and check back for updates throughout the day:

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Obama's toughest 2012 interview: Jon Stewart -- VIDEO

The Daily Show just got major props from the White House.

Obama press secretary Jay Carney told the audience at a George Washington University forum on Thursday that Jon Stewart was the president’s “toughest” interviewer during the 2012 campaign. He offered the compliment despite admitting that the Obama team wasn’t sure that the president should appear on Comedy Central in the first place.

“I remember we had some discussion during 2012 about, well, is it appropriate for the president, the sitting president and candidate, to give interviews with Jon Stewart and others,” Carney recalled. “And the answer was yes, again, because young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows. READ FULL STORY

President Obama talks 'Scandal,' 'House of Cards,' and healthcare on 'Ellen' -- VIDEO

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President Barack Obama earned two titles November 6, 2012: President, and the man behind the most re-tweeted tweet of all time. But, as we now know, Ellen DeGeneres and company broke that record at this year’s Oscars with their celeb-filled selfie that now holds that title. “I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself,” Obama told Ellen when she rubbed it in his face. At least he’s still President?

Obama went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in an episode airing Thursday to continue his media tour promoting healthcare to young people — one past stop includes Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns. But Obama didn’t only talk healthcare: We also got to hear his thoughts on his two daughters getting tattoos.

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Barack and Michelle Obama's greatest pop culture moments -- VIDEO

On Tuesday, Funny or Die premiered a video of Zach Galifianakis interviewing President Obama in a Between Two Ferns sketch where Obama plugged Healthcare.gov. On Wednesday, traffic to the healthcare site has increased 40 percent.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett went on CBS’ This Morning earlier to share the news of the video’s success. “The fact that the website traffic has gone up is really an indication that it’s working.” Look at that, viral videos changing lives!

Obama’s appearance on Galifianakis’ wacky series wasn’t the first time the president — or first lady Michelle — has used comedy as a way to reach Americans. He appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2012 to plug his student loans initiative, and Michelle frequently enlists celebrities to help promote her Let’s Move campaign. We’ve gathered some of their best appearances, including Michelle showing off her mom-moves for the sake of fitness and Barack opening SNL before he was POTUS: READ FULL STORY

'Between Two Ferns' director Scott Aukerman on how they got Obama to laugh at himself

Say what you want about his politics, but President Obama definitely has a sense of humor.

The leader of the free world appeared on Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis to promote the Affordable Care Act, and EW talked with director/producer Scott Aukerman, who co-created the series in 2008, about filming in the White House, Obama’s improv skills, and how they thought the whole thing wasn’t going to happen until the last minute.

The viral video has already racked up more than 6 million views in less than one day on the Funny or Die website. Aukerman was on a plane Tuesday morning and was shocked to see such a large reaction right away. “That’s super nuts! It’s hard to imagine 6 million people watching something in less than six hours,” Aukerman told EW. “How many people are there in the country though? 300 million? We still got a little ways to go.” Aukerman and Galifianakis had been chasing down Obama as a Ferns guest for years, hoping he would follow in the footsteps of Bradley Cooper, Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman, and Michael Cera, among others, who have all appeared on the show. Rumors from the White House that Obama may be interested in doing something “like this” circulated, but nothing ever came of it. “There was a series of false alarms,” Aukerman said.

In July, Aukerman and a group of Funny or Die creators met with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett with the intention of creating viral videos to promote the Affordable Care Act. Aukerman suggested again that Ferns would be a perfect opportunity for Obama and his platform but didn’t hear anything until just three weeks ago. “They said if it were ever to happen, it would be now so start preparing.” Aukerman and Galifianakis were still suspicious that the shoot would get canceled again, even after a specific date and time was set and plane tickets had been purchased for D.C. It wasn’t until the pair were actually in the White House when it finally hit them. “I think this might actually be filmed!” Aukerman joked to Galifianakis at the time. “I remember I stood outside that building when I was 13. I never thought I would be invited in and meet the President.” READ FULL STORY

President Obama misspells Aretha Franklin's hit song 'Respect'

A, B, C… it’s not always easy as 1, 2, 3. And yes, even the leader of the free world gets a little tongue-tied sometimes.

During a speech at the Women of Soul concert series, which is being hosted at the White House, President Obama spoke about the impact that many great artists had on the fight for equality. However, when Obama went to quote Aretha Franklin’s famous song ‘Respect’, he got a little caught up in the moment  — and, like a nervous contestant at a spelling bee, he accidentally missed a letter.

Obama told the crowd: “When Aretha [Franklin] first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved. They wanted some respect.” The crowd immediately chuckled following the slip-up, but the President pushed right past it. You’ve got to rspect that follow-through.

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State of the Union 2014: President Obama's tough talk

Remember the President Obama who used to preach “lower the temperature” civility and “work together” collaboration from the lectern during State of the Union speeches? Well, that guy didn’t show up last night to deliver our constitutionally mandated report card. Instead we got a tough-talking, battle-hardened chief executive who repeatedly promised to act alone to further his goals, when and where he can, whether or not he has the support of Congress. READ FULL STORY

State of the Union 2014: Joe Biden Watch and other colorful distractions

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Another State of the Union address down, and your Uncle Joe has proven it once again: Vice President Biden is God’s gift to live TV screen-grabbers. READ FULL STORY

Kennedy Center Honors: Anna Kendrick, Rufus Wainwright, and Garth Brooks perform -- VIDEO

The Kennedy Center Honors aired Sunday night, and while we’re still waiting for someone to put Snoop Dogg’s portion of the tribute to honoree Herbie Hancock on YouTube — he had the black-tie crowd standing and chanting! — some highlights have surfaced. Watch a few below from the tributes to Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, and Carlos Santana. READ FULL STORY

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