President Obama – latest…

Subject: POOL #2
President Obama took the stage at AIPAC at 11:10 am, and concluded his remarks at 11:44 am to standing applause. The Press Office distributed advance text, and the speech was open to credentialed press.

At conclusion of remarks (to dramatic music), the president shook hands for approximately 5 minutes and exchanged greetings with AIPAC VIPs, who had been seated behind him on the dais during the speech. Then he ducked backstage.

AIPAC officials and press materials stated that more than 13,000 conference attendees gathered Sunday to hear the opening speeches. (President Shimon Peres spoke before POTUS.) An AIPAC aide said that by Monday night, there would be “up to 14,000.”

In the enormous hall, the president appeared on 8 giant video screens — his image captured by a camera on a crane in front of him in mid air. It swooped close enough to display Obama’s speech text in his binder in front of him, as well as the scrolling text on the TelePrompTer plates.

The AIPAC audience applauded and stood most enthusiastically during portions of the speech in which the president said a nuclear armed Iran is counter to the national security interests of the United States, and that U.S. support for Israel is bipartisan “and that is how it should stay.”

Also a standing ovation for the president’s announcement that he has invited Shimon Peres to the WH “later this spring” to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Subdued audience reaction to portions of speech arguing for more time for sanctions/ diplomacy with Iran. Audience largely quiet in response to: “I firmly believe an opportunity remains for diplomacy.”

POOL held in the vans at the Convention Center until 12:25 pm– but unknown with whom POTUS may have met before departing for the WH. We have asked for more info.

Larger groupings of protesters with banners and handmade signs visible to POTUS outside the convention center upon departure. “Israel Stop Killing Peace,” was one.

Motorcade passed Freedom Plaza encampment, and a man holding large printed placard for POTUS viewing, “End corporate rule now.”

President walked past the Oval and down the colonnade with a binder or folder in his hand and proceeded all the way around to the residence. Photographers thought the president was softly whistling on a sunny afternoon as he waved to the POOL, and asked, “Enjoying this weather?” POOL shouted a question, asking him who he had been talking with before leaving AIPAC. President looked down and did not respond.

The return at the WH was at 12:32 pm. Lunch lid until 1:15 pm …

Alexis Simendinger
Real Clear Politics