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White House

 

« Scenes From The White House: Lord Stanley | Blog Home Page | Obama: "Let Us Renew" »

Strategy Memo: Eight Years

Today marks eight years since September 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 died. More than 5,000 have died in battle since.

At the White House, President Obama will pause at 8:46 for a moment of silence at the time the first plane hit the Twin Towers. Later, he heads to the Pentagon, where he'll speak at the memorial to the attacks there. He and the first lady also will mark a day of service with an event in the city. Vice President Biden will be in New York for memorial events there.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Obama will hold a rally for health care reform in Minnesota on Saturday. He also is set to appear once again on "60 Minutes."

The Senate will hold a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. After morning business it will continue consideration of the Transportation and HUD Appropriations bill, though no votes are expected today. The House is not in session.

**9/11
*"On Sept. 11, 2001, Barack Obama was driving to a state legislative hearing in Chicago when he heard the first sketchy reports of a plane hitting the World Trade Center on his car radio," AP reports in a piece noting the first post-Bush 9/11. "The 40-year-old state senator spent the afternoon in his law office watching 'nightmare images' of destruction and grief unfold on TV."

*President Obama's op-ed in the New York Daily News: "Eight years ago, on an ordinary Tuesday morning, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the deadliest attack on American soil in our history. It was an event that forever changed the life of this city. And it was a tragedy that will be forever seared in the consciousness of our nation. Every year on this day, we are all New Yorkers."

*"After eight years -- more than the time between Pearl Harbor and the Berlin Blockade at the height of the Cold War -- you would think that we as a nation would have gained perspective. Instead, all we have achieved is chronological distance," writes Politics Daily's Walter Shapiro. "In many ways, the most lasting piece of literature to emerge from the horrors of that day is the final report of the 9/11 Commission. While it tells in often novelistic detail the how of the attacks, the why understandably remains elusive."

*Entertainment Industry Foundation announced this morning a new series of PSAs featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, who call on Americans to assist returning veterans and military families that need help. The PSAs will begin running in Major League Baseball stadiums across the country and will be aired on national broadcast stations this fall.

*9/11 is now a lesson plan rather than a memory for American youth, Washington Post reports.

*A CNN poll finds that concerns about a terrorist attack are half what they were right after 9/11/01. "The poll also indicates that only one in 10 say that a terrorist attack is likely in the community where they live. More than six in 10 say they have confidence in the Obama administration's ability to protect the country from terrorism, although only one in four say they have a great deal of confidence."

*Gallup: "Americans continue to give the Republican Party a slight edge over the Democratic Party -- 49% vs. 42% -- in their perceptions of the party that will better protect the United States from international terrorism and military threats. The Republicans' edge on this issue is unchanged from last year but has diminished from earlier in the decade."

**Health Care
*AP: "The possibility that malpractice changes could be part of health care legislation that suddenly seems to have better chances of passing has sent doctors and trial lawyers scrambling. ... Obama's overture in his Wednesday night speech could give him a way to peel off some Republican votes, as well as shore up support from moderates in his own party."

*In his meeting with Senate moderates yesterday, Obama "surprised some" by having OMB Director Peter Orszag "make a presentation making the case that the health care reform plan the president will ultimately sign will be fiscally balanced and won't increase the deficit," Jake Tapper reports. "One senator said that the president made his case on Wednesday night and is now moving to place where he's more engaged in trying to achieve the goal."

*Wall Street Journal reports on continuing questions about whether illegal immigrants would receive government-funded insurance. "In an exchange Thursday night clarifying the president's position in the aftermath of Mr. Wilson's outburst, White House aides said Mr. Obama's health plan would restrict illegal immigrants' access beyond what congressional Democrats have proposed."

*"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) endorsed the concept of health insurance cooperatives Thursday, siding with centrists in the House and Senate who want healthcare reform but oppose a public option. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also hinted she could accept that approach a day after President Barack Obama delivered an address to a joint session of Congress that offered encouraging words for both centrists and liberal Democrats who have demanded a public insurance option," The Hill reports.

--Kyle Trygstad and Mike Memoli