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FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Press Briefing

Barackin’ the Casbah?: THE speech from the Muslim world — not to be confused with POTUS’s address in Turkey last month (sorry, Turkey) — is set to be delivered from Egypt on June 4, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced today. Gibbs twice called Egypt “the heart of the Arab world” and replied to AP’s Chuck Babington about whether Egypt is a democracy by saying “issues of democracy and human rights are on the president’s mind” and will be discussed on his trip. Apparently the White House was not specifically invited to Egypt — it simply won the lottery in the president’s “continued effort to engage the Muslim world.”

Size Does and Doesn’t Matter: Gibbs said the goal of the speech was not to have a large on-site crowd, and carried the tech-savvy Obama team message that you won’t have to be there to hear the message. While audience details and invitations are still TBD, Gibbs did offer a fairly ambitious underlying motive for the big speech: “to understand the relationships that we have to have in this world to make progress not just for our country but for all of the world; to ensure the safety and security of America, but to ensure the safety and security of others around the world; to ensure hope and opportunity here and hope and opportunity, again, around the world.” A walk in the park, really.

More on Summer Vacation: As rumored, POTUS will in fact spend June 6 in France to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Sandwiched between this and his big speech on the 4th, he swings through Germany to pay respects at the concentration camp in Buchenwald that his great uncle helped to liberate. No word yet on whether “Uncle Charlie” will go along.


The Other Big Three: Bobby G. took an intentionally circuitous route to answering a question on whether there’d be more governmental intervention in the economy — using it to frame the recent unemployment numbers in the context of the Obama trifecta of education, energy, and healthcare. He cited statistics on education level and corresponding unemployment that illustrated an estimated 10-percent gap in joblessness between those with less than a high school education versus college graduates.

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