Panda Cam, but for Possible Trump Administration Officials

What the White House is Talking About:

President Obama today met with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:

Following the meeting, there was a press conference where Obama (and Merkel) were asked about the election of Donald Trump. On Russia, Obama said of Trump he hopes the President-elect is “willing to stand up” to Putin, but he’s also, “I don’t expect the President-elect will follow exactly our blueprint or our approach.”

Also: POTUS confirms what we were all wondering, he will, I repeat, will someday go to Oktoberfest. “But better to do as a former president than a president. I’ll have more fun.”

Nice Day for a Walk:

Said POTUS to the press pool: “Hello, everybody. How are you doing? Sun came out. Not bad.”

Image credit: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Obama was walking back to his hotel after lunch at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, passing the Brandenburg Gate.

Pete Souza Has Taken Two-Million Pictures of Obama:

I love the images chief White House photographer Pete Souza has taken of the president; I often post them in this newsletter. But I’ve wondered about Souza himself, what it’s like to do his job, and how it feels to have the kind of access he has, and whether Obama in private is much different than Obama in public.

In an interview with MSNBC yesterday, Souza answers a lot of those questions. “I think he’s a little more open and funny and less guarded, obviously,” says Souza of Obama. “But he’s still the same person that you see in public and in my photographs.”

Also, I finally made it into a Souza shot this week at Obama’s presser:

Image credit: @PeteSouza / Instagram

Speaking of Photos:

Doesn’t everyone in this shot of the Pences and the Bidens at lunch yesterday at the VP residence look unhappy and tense a little?

Image credit: @VP / Instagram

Keep in mind, this wasn’t some random press pool shot, it’s the image released by the Vice President’s office on his official Instagram account. Pence’s face, guys.

Star Turn Out at National Medal of Freedom Awards will be High:
The White House yesterday announced the names of 21 honorees for Obama’s final Medal of Freedom ceremony—11 of them are celebrities. Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Jordan, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Robert Redford … here’s the full scoop. The medal ceremony is Tuesday at the White House.

What The Beltway is Talking About:

Endlessly speculating about President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.

What America is Talking About:

The percentage of Americans who say they’re satisfied with the direction of the country dropped from 37% to 27% after the election, according to Gallup. I have to imagine a lot of those people were hopeful Hillary Clinton supporters whose dreams were crushed.

Image credit: Gallup

Panda Cam, but for Possible Trump Administration Officials:

In the lobby of Trump Tower now, journalists wait around in a roped-off area from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. hoping to get a glimpse of people heading in and out of the elevator, any nugget of news about the transition. Usually, there’s nothing.

And now, you can join along at home! C-SPAN has set up a live feed of the elevator banks. I’ll have it on in the background all day, but lmk if you see any possible future secretaries of state there. I already spotted Michael Flynn this morning.

Clinton Gets Out of the House:

Clinton spoke Wednesday at a Children’s Defense Fund event in D.C., her first public remarks since her concession speech. “I will admit, coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me,” she said. “There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again.”

Image credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Clinton’s Plane Gets Out of the Hangar:

Her campaign plane, with “Stronger Together” still painted on the side, flew the University of Dayton men’s basketball team to their game at the University of Alabama.
Trump Place Drops the Trump:

Tenants at Trump Place in New York City signed a petition to get the president-elect’s name removed from their building, and yesterday, their wish came true.

Image credit: Bryan Smith / Getty Images

“Where do you live?”


Image credit: Bryan Smith / Getty Images

Fake News Media Mogul:

The creator of a digital fake news empire, Paul Horner, told the Washington Post he thinks he’s the reason Trump won the election.

“I think Trump is in the White House because of me,” he said. “His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”

Some of Horner’s stories include one about President Obama signing an executive order to investigate the election results and the Amish voting for Trump.

Melania Trump, Queen of Pop:

My current fav song is this autotuned remix of Melania Trump. Most videos like this are short and simple, but this one hits you with a chorus and you think it’s all over, but then BOOM you get a verse. And it rhyme!

Image credit: @kanterru / Twitter

? “He’s kind / Smart / He’s tough / Great heart / He’s fair / Communicator / The great / Negotiator” ?

Throwback Thursday: The First Time a President Pardoned a Turkey:

Just think, this Thanksgiving will be the last we don’t have a photo of President Trump pardoning a turkey. He’ll be the fifth to do so; the first formal presidential turkey pardoning was George H. W. Bush in 1989:

Image credit: @WhiteHouseHstry / Twitter

Before that, turkeys were sent to the White House as gifts, and many presidents posed with them for photos. After the turkeys are pardoned, they usually are sent to farms in Virginia, according to the History Channel.

Last year, IJR asked three presidential candidates to practice pardoning a turkey. Since none of them won, they won’t get to test out their skills, but watch Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina pardon one lucky Iowa turkey here.

What do you think?

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