Denis McDonough

After Rhodes Insults media, White House Hands Out Donuts
Officials deliver breakfast treats after Rhodes panned media

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes speaks to the White House press corps during a briefing. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Wednesday was “press appreciation day” at the White House, and after what went viral last Thursday, a little appreciation certainly couldn’t hurt the Obama administration.  

Just six days after Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes alienated both the Washington press corps and foreign policy-national security establishment in a New York Times Magazine profile, two of President Barack Obama’s closest aides were handing out breakfast pastries.  

Was There Ever an Obama-Ryan Honeymoon?

Ryan greets Obama as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. looks on. It was one of Ryan's few smiles of the evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama repeatedly had to raise his voice to be heard over cheering Democratic lawmakers during his State of the Union address on Jan. 12. But Speaker Paul D. Ryan sat motionless, his face frozen in a polite — but unimpressed — expression.  

Obama used part of his likely final address to a joint session of Congress to extol policy whims long pushed by Democrats like pre-kindergarten “for all” children and a government-led effort to “to make college affordable for every American.” He also called it a “basic fact” that the U.S. “has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” saying the country is “in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.”  

Democrats Slam White House Messaging On Refugee Bill

Pelosi, D-Calif. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In 24 hours, House Democrats have gone from opposing the GOP  proposal to tighten the United States' screening of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to supporting the bill in large numbers.  

The shift is due to a number of factors, including pressure from constituents to take action this week — as well as frustration with the White House's inability to offer a compelling reason to wait. "What they should be doing is accepting the bill and offering to work with all of us on both sides to make it workable," said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., of administration officials.