Obama Hosts Kennedy Center Honorees

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_1551a19d28.jpgSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Several of of the country’s biggest figures from film and music were recognized at the White House Sunday for their mark on the performing arts. Actress Shirley MacLaine, along with musicians Carlos Santana, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and opera soprano Martina Arroyo each received achievement awards at the annual Kennedy Center Honors gala Sunday night. But first, President Obama welcomed them to the nation’s capital with a smaller reception in the executive residence.

Read more...

Mandela a 'Ruthless' and 'Disciplined' Politician

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_950f31115c.jpgABC News (NEW YORK) -- When asked if Nelson Mandela was a ruthless politician, his former pollster and campaign strategist Stan Greenberg said, “Absolutely.” “He had clear goals. And one of the things that ran through was the desire to make sure there was racially inclusive politics,” said Greenberg, who served as a pollster and strategist for Mandela’s 1994 campaign for president of South Africa.

Read more...

Key Senator 'Hopeful' on Budget Deal By End of Week

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_b93eeca2cd.jpgABC News (NEW YORK) -- As Congress heads into its final week before it adjourns for the holidays, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he is “hopeful” a short-term budget deal will be reached to avoid the threat of a potential government shutdown in January. “I’m hopeful that even by the end of this week we’ll be able to come together and achieve that,” Portman told George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday.

Read more...

Obama Defends Iran Nuclear Deal at Middle East Policy Conference

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_8e68b37ccf.jpgPhoto by Pete Marovich/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Two weeks have passed since the United States and its partners reached a sweeping, if tentative, nuclear deal with Iran despite the opposition of Israel’s government. At a Middle East policy conference on Saturday, President Obama was asked what made the Iran deal “different” when compared to the failed nuclear agreements pursued by Presidents Reagan with Pakistan and Clinton with North Korea.

Read more...

Will Heads Roll? Who Gets Fired over Obamacare?

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_88bac86001.jpgABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The development and roll-out of the federal online health insurance marketplace has been panned inside and outside the White House as a management fiasco. But still unclear, two months after its launch, is whether any administration officials directly responsible for the project will be shown the door. With HealthCare.gov now vastly improved, there is renewed focus on accountability for the troubled launch that came after three years of planning and more than $600 million spent.

Read more...