Obama administration | WAMC

Obama administration

David Litt entered the White House in 2011 and left in 2016 as a special assistant to the president and senior presidential speechwriter. He will tell us about his new book: "Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn't, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think."

Litt says the democracy you live in today is different—completely different—from the democracy you were born into. You probably don't realize just how radically your republic has been altered during your lifetime. Yet more than any policy issue, political trend, or even Donald Trump himself, our redesigned system of government is responsible for the peril America faces today.

When Gene Sperling was in charge of coordinating the shaping and execution of the U.S. government’s economic policy in the Obama White House, he found himself surprised and dismayed when serious people in Washington worried out loud that Obama’s focus on health care was a distraction because it was “not focused on the economy.”

Too often, Sperling found that our economic debate confused ends and means. We measured economic success by metrics like GDP instead of whether the economy was succeeding in lifting up the sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and security of people.

In a time of wrenching economic upheaval, as we face the worst downturn since the Great Depression, Sperling’s new book, "Economic Dignity," seeks to reframe the conversation and offer a profound big-picture vision of why the promotion of dignity should be the singular goal by which we chart America’s economic future.

Rahm Emanuel is a former two-term mayor of Chicago and White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama. In his new book, "The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World," he offers a firsthand account of how cities, rather than the federal government, stand at the center of innovation and effective governance. 

When Lawrence Jackson took the job as White House photographer in early 2009, he knew he’d have a front row seat to history. What he didn’t expect was the deep personal connection he would feel, as a fellow African American, with the President Barack Obama.

Lawrence was the only African-American photographer in the Obama White House, which gave him a unique perspective on the first African-American President. In his new book, "Yes We Did: Photos and Behind-the-Scenes Stories Celebrating Our First African American President," Lawrence’s photos and reflections give us a front row seat to this historic administration.

Pete Souza - former Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and Director of the White House Photo Office - will give a visual presentation of exclusive photographs contained in his #1 New York Times bestseller "Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents" at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, New York for an Oblong Books event on Sunday, November 3 at 7 p.m.

Shade tells the tale of the Obama and Trump years through visual juxtapositions that begin on Inauguration Day and move through the release of the Mueller report. Some call this "throwing shade." Souza calls it telling the truth.

In "Obama: An Oral History," author Brian Abrams reveals the behind-the-scenes stories that illuminate the eight years of the Obama White House through more than one hundred exclusive interviews.

Among those given a voice in this extraordinary account are Obama’s cabinet secretaries; his teams of speechwriters, legal advisers, and campaign strategists; as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fought for or against his agenda. They recall the early struggles of an idealistic outsider candidate and speak openly about the exacting work that led to cornerstone legislation. They share the failures and dissent that met Obama’s efforts and revisit the paths to his accomplishments.

Brian Abrams is the author of three bestselling Kindle Singles oral histories: "And NOW…An Oral History of Late Night with David Letterman, 1982–1993;" "Gawker: An Oral History;" and "Die Hard: An Oral History." Abrams has written for the Washington Post Magazine, Time, and The Lowbrow Reader.

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein is working five part-time jobs and just scraping by when a posting on Craigslist lands her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama’s stenographers. The ultimate D.C. outsider, she joins the elite team who accompany the president wherever he goes, recorder and mic in hand.

Beck Dorey-Stein is a native of Narberth, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Wesleyan University. Prior to her five years in the White House, she taught high school English in Hightstown, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; and Seoul, South Korea.

Dan Pfeiffer was one of Barack Obama's first hires when he decided to run for president, and was at his side through two presidential campaigns and six years in the White House.

Using never-before-heard stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Pfeiffer's book, "Yes We (Still) Can," examines how Obama succeeded despite Twitter trolls, Fox News (and their fake news), and a Republican Party that lost its collective mind.

Dan Pfeiffer is a co-host of the popular political podcast "Pod Save America."

After a lot of arm twisting, the Gulf Arab states publicly backed the Obama administrations nuclear agreement with Iran. On the surface, this appears as a diplomatic victory for the president as he seeks to build support for his signature foreign policy initiative. But is this true?

WASHINGTON – In the wake of the December 1 Metro-North derailment that killed four people and injured over 60 others, two US senators have asked Congress to increase funding to the Federal Railroad Administration for added inspections.

Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have asked for an increase of $15 million over this year’s sequestered budget, bringing the total in the Obama administration’s request to $185 million for safety and operations.

The additional money would fund 45 more inspectors.