West Wing Week: 12/21/12 or "We Are There For Them"

Uploaded by whitehouse on 20.12.2012

Narrator: Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's
happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This week, the President addressed the national tragedy
in Newtown, Connecticut, and promised meaningful action to
address gun violence.
While the White House invited some of its newest Pinterest
followers and the President spread some holiday cheer.
That's December 14th to December 20th,
or "We Are There For Them."
On Friday after the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut,
the President delivered an emotional statement in the
White House briefing room.
President Obama: In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our
best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as
President to help.
All of us can extend a hand to those in need to remind them
that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that
the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in
their memories, but also in ours.
Narrator: On Sunday, the President traveled to Newtown, Connecticut
and spoke at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the shooting
and their families.
President Obama: We can't tolerate this anymore.
These tragedies must end.
And to end them, we must change.
Narrator: On Monday, to help kick off the White House presence on
Pinterest, the Office of Digital Strategies hosted a White House
holiday social with some of our newest Pinterest followers where
the Pinterers had a chance to talk with and hear from a series
of White House officials, including Director of the
Visitors Office, Ellie Schafer, the Chief of Staff to the First
Lady, Tina Tchen, and the digital strategists, who wanted
to strategize digitally.
Macon Phillips: Where are the conversations about these sorts of standard
issues that the country is grappling with happening,
and how are they happening on Pinterest.
Narrator: On Tuesday, the President dropped by the offices of some
of his staff who play a critical role in running the day-to-day
functions of the White House for some holiday greetings, a whole
lot of hugs, group photos, and some time to thank the staff for
all their hard work over the course of the year.
President Obama: I'm using your work product and it's helping me out.
I'm very proud of you.
Narrator: He even snuck in a few good old-fashioned presidential
Q&A sessions.
President Obama: Who wants to describe to me the process of dealing with
40,000 emails?
That's only just four of you.
That's a lot of letters to read.
Speaker: It's a lot, yeah, it's like 400 a day.
President Obama: What have you guys got cooked up now?
What's the next big thing?
Speaker: APIs for WhiteHouse.gov.
President Obama: APIs for WhiteHouse.gov.
What in the heck does that mean?
I'm a big believer in us using new media to reach people who
otherwise can't be reached.
And the more we engage them, the better our democracy works, the
better our public policy is, the better our people do, right.
Narrator: I've been waiting for this privilege for four years.
I've been here 20.
President Obama: I am so grateful that you have been, and I'm so glad we had a
chance to see each other.
Let's take a good picture with everybody.
President Obama: We'll do all the volunteers first,
then I'll do all the staff.
Let go of your bag, nobody's going to steal it.
I'm right here.
Got the Secret Service looking after it.
Narrator: On Wednesday, the President delivered a statement about
the policy process the administration will pursue
in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
Then he took questions from reporters about it
and his efforts to find a bipartisan compromise
to reduce our deficit.
President Obama: If there's one thing we should have after this week, it should
be a sense of perspective about what's important.
The country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf
of the greater good and not tangle themselves up in a whole
bunch of ideological positions that don't make much sense.
So I remain not only open to conversations, but I remain
eager to get something done.
Narrator: That evening, the President addressed an international
holiday gathering at the State Department of the world's
diplomatic corps and spoke on the importance of their work in
light of the recent events here at home.
President Obama: And we're reminded that whatever differences on the surface, deep
down we're bound by a certain set of basic aspirations.
We want our children to be safe and free from fear.
And that, I think, is one of the ways we can honor
all these beautiful children and incredible teachers who
were lost this past Friday, by building a future that is equal
to their dreams and delivers on the dreams of children all
around the world just like them.
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.
Children: ♪ You better watch out, you better not cry, you better ♪
♪ not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town. ♪
First Lady Michelle Obama: This is exactly what he does at home.
He tries to beat Malia and Sasha into my lap.
Then he has the nerve not to be comfortable.
Speaker: All right, get you a girl.