West Wing Week: 2/11/11 or "The New Electrification"

Uploaded by whitehouse on 10.02.2011

♪♪ (drum and bugle corps) ♪♪
Narrator: Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's
happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This week, President Obama focused on the second part of
his State of the Union goals of out-innovating, out-building,
and out-educating the rest of the world,
putting forward plans to build a 21st Century infrastructure,
investing in things like high-speed rail,
and expanding broadband access so all of America's families
will be equipped to win the future.
Oh, and the Prime Minister of Canada dropped by.
That's February 4th through February 10th,
or "The New Electrification."
On Friday, February 4th, President Obama welcomed Prime
Minister Harper of Canada to the White House to strengthen the
partnership between our nations and to provide the prime
minister with some warmer weather.
Speaker: I'm from Ohio, so actually --
Prime Minister Harper: That's unreasonably cold.
Speaker: I know.
Narrator: The two leaders talked about the vital economic partnership
we share and agreed to a new vision for managing our shared
security, not just on the border we share, but beyond the border.
The President also took the opportunity to address the
situation in Egypt.
President Obama: We want to see this moment of turmoil turned
into a moment of opportunity.
The entire world is watching.
What we hope for and what we will work for is a future where
all of Egyptian society seizes that opportunity.
Narrator: On a beautiful and temperate Monday morning,
February 7th --
President Obama: What a spectacular thing.
Narrator: The President, accompanied by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett
and Chief of Staff Bill Daley, crossed Lafayette Park to
address the Chamber of Commerce on what the government is doing
to make America the best place in the world to do business and
the responsibility the business community has to invest in
America's workers and economic recovery.
President Obama: But as we work with you to make America a better place to do
business, I'm hoping that all of you are thinking what you
can do for America.
Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers,
what you can do to support the American economy and invest in
this nation.
Narrator: Back at the White House --
President Obama: Coach?
Narrator: -- President Obama called Green Bay Packers' Coach Mike McCarthy
to congratulate him on the Packers' victory in
Super Bowl XLV (45).
President Obama: Even for a Bears fan, it's heartwarming, you know,
that the Green Bay community is able to celebrate like this.
So, you guys, you should be very proud of yourselves.
I'm looking forward to hosting you.
Narrator: On Tuesday, February 8th, Vice President Joe Biden and
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood hopped aboard the Amtrak
Acela heading to Philadelphia to announce the administration's
plan to build a 21st Century infrastructure from roads and
bridges to high-speed rail.
Vice President Biden: I went to school -- this is a place called Claymont, Delaware,
and it became a steel town.
Narrator: Famous for his daily commutes from Delaware to D.C. when he
was a senator, the Vice President knows just about
every mile of these tracks.
At 30th Street Station in Philly,
the two laid out the comprehensive plan that will
help the nation reach President Obama's goal of giving 80% of
Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years,
as outlined in his State of the Union Address.
Vice President Biden: In a global economy, we can't forget that infrastructure,
and also are the veins and the arteries of commerce,
you think about it in those terms;
they literally are the veins and the arteries of commerce.
You know, if those passageways get clogged,
commerce is going to suffer, and it's going to show up in
the bottom line, and it shows up really quickly.
Narrator: By clarifying the long-term federal role in passenger rail,
this six-year program will provide states and cities with
the certainty they need to make long-term transportation plans
for their communities.
On Wednesday, February 9th, we caught up with Aneesh Chopra,
the Federal Chief Technology Officer,
who explained some of the nuts and bolts of expanding broadband
access and how crucial it will be to economic development in
rural America.
Aneesh Chopra: And it's not just about roadways, railways, and runways,
President Obama believes in a nation's 21st Century
infrastructure that must include connectivity to every corner of
the country so that people that live in rural parts of the
country have access to global markets just as
they would if they lived in urban environments that have
access to technology today.
This is a challenge we faced before in
our country with electrification.
Our cities were lit up far before our rural communities
were, and it was a priority administration back then to
make sure the entire country had access to this critical
infrastructure as it is today.
It is in that spirit, in a collaboration with the private
sector, that President Obama wishes to extend high speed
wireless access to 98% of the nation's population so that an
entrepreneur in rural America can tap into global markets and
compete in this 21st century economy.
Narrator: On Thursday, February 10th, President Obama traveled to
Marquette, Michigan, located in the snowy upper peninsula
of that state, where local businesses have been able
to grow as a result of greater broadband access.
The President went to see a demonstration of how Northern
Michigan University's WiMAX Wireless Network has enabled
distance learning for university and community students.
President Obama: What is so exciting is the fact that, you know,
talented young people like the kids in your class or the ones
in Negaunee, you guys can basically start a company
or do your work anywhere.
Narrator: The next generation wireless network in Marquette is an
effective demonstration of how the President's proposal to open
up airwaves will spark new innovation,
put people back to work, grow the economy,
and help America win the future.
President Obama: When it comes to High-Speed Internet,
the lights are still off in one-third of our households.
One out of every three households in America
don't have that same access.
For millions of Americans, the railway hasn't showed up yet.
And for our families and our businesses,
high-speed wireless service, that's the next train station.
It's the next off-ramp.
It's how it will spark new innovation, new investment,
new jobs.
Narrator: The President also got a chance to stop by Donkers,
a local candy shop and lunch spot.
President Obama: The Obama Burger seems like a --
Speaker: Our chef did his research.
President Obama: Nice. Yeah, that looks -- that's a tasty looking burger.
Narrator: To find out more information on any of these topics or to
see complete videos of these events, go to whitehouse.gov.
And thanks again for checking out your West Wing Week.
Vice President Biden: Well, I can tell you -- Chuck will tell you -- my mother used
to say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck,
and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
This is a duck right here.