Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration Officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.
November 18, 2003
Robert, from Texas writes:
As spokesman for the White House, I must also point out that Oklahoma certainly has a great football team. The Press Secretary must always put aside his or her personal views and speak for the President. Hook 'em.
William, from Tucson writes:
My question has two parts. The first part is: What is considered progress in the specific instance of Iraq?
The second part is: What evidence exists that progress has occured in Iraq?
For the first time in 35 years, the Iraqi people are beginning to enjoy the same kind of freedoms we tend to take for granted. Schools are open, hospitals are open, the electricity is above pre-war levels, oil production is now above 2 million barrels per day.
The infrastructure that was neglected by the previous regime is improving on a daily basis. Iraqis are also assuming more and more responsibility for their future. Cabinet ministers appointed by an Iraqi governing council are overseeing day to day operations of the country from the electricity system to the health system to education system. Important progress is being made and their is difficult work still to do.
A free and peaceful Iraq will help transform the Middle East, a region which has been a breeding ground for terrorism. It will help make the world a safer and better place and America more secure.
Richard, from Barnsley, United Kingdom writes:
The offices and rooms on the show appear to be quite large -- while the west wing is in the center of activity -- the offices and rooms are somewhat small.
Certainly, I think that the TV show is about drama -- while we certainly have our moments of excitement here at the White House , I don't think it is quite as dramatic as the activity that you see on the show.
Rick, from Rocky Mount, NC writes:
Keep on truckin'
The Press Secretary shares a responsibility with the press corps to help keep the American people informed about the decisions being made here in Washington DC. Marlin Fitzwater and Mike McCurry were two very capable Press Secretaries. Ari Fleischer is someone I learned a lot from and I think he did an outstanding job.
George Christian who was one of LBJ's Press Secretaries is someone I got to know well in Austin where I grew up. George was a very straight forward, honest and hard-working Press Secretary who was widely respected.
I hope I will get to spend time with some of my other predecessors who I have yet to meet.
Roy, from Duluth, MN writes:
It is important to enforce trade laws to ensure that America's workers can compete on a level playing field. The President imposed temporary safeguards to give our domestic steel industry the opportunity to restructure and consolidate in order to adjust to import competition.
Under this action, the ITC was required to review these measures at the midpoint. They have submitted a report to the President, it is under review, we continue to listen to all interested parties including producers, consumers and members of Congress so that we can have a full understanding of the issue.
The President has not made a decision at this point, but will in due course.
Imran, from England writes:
That helps me serve as his spokesman. Often times, I will begin my morning at the White House by walking over to the Oval Office to visit with the President about the days news. I also see him throughout the day in policy briefings and meetings with world leaders or whenever I just need to stick my head in the Oval and ask him for his thoughts.
Bryan, from Drexel Hill, PA
When you put in into proper context, it is nothing compared to the challenges facing our men and women in the military. It is nothing compared to a single mom who is working to support her family.
Helen Thomas has certainly been a mainstay of the White House press corps for more than 40 years. I think she gives everybody a hard time. She is just doing her job.
I think there has to be a high level of trust between the Press Secretary and the press corps. The relationship is built on respect and honesty. The White House press corps is made up of some of the best and brightest professionals who have very demanding and challenging jobs. I have great respect for the jobs they do and while there is a natural tension at times, we are all here for the same purpose -- to serve the American people.
Charles, from Mobile, AL writes:
Vanessa, from Washington, DC writes:
The decision by the Governing Council means that at the end of May when sovereignty is transferred to the Iraqi people, the job of the Coalition Provisional Authority will be successfully completed.
Ambassador Bremer's job will be over and the CPA will cease to exist.
I think everyone recognizes that security is one of the highest priorities for the Iraqi people. We still have an obligation to stay the course and help the Iraqi people build a secure and prosperous future. There will still be security issues that will require the help of the U.S. and the international community.
We will continue to consult with the new interim government as we move forward.
Jason, from Fort Hood, Texas writes:
It is a great way to get your foot in the door and show your commitment to helping. I, myself, volunteered on a campaign back in 1989 and was offered a full time job in the press office. That's how my professional career began.
Joseph, from Port Huron, Michigan writes:
My day typically begins at about 5 in the morning when I start looking through some of the national newspapers. The night before I try to stay on top of the nightly network news. I typically come into the office between 6:45 and 7 in the morning where I have a meeting with some of my team to discuss the news of the day before heading to the senior staff meeting where we discuss some of those issues.
Part of my job is playing reporter within the White House -- when I don't need to get something directly from the President it is important for me to be able to know where to go to get the information I need to speak on behalf of the White House and the administration. That is where the White House staff comes into play and I'm proud to be one member of that team.
Christopher, from Maine writes:
Tyler, from El Dorado Springs, MO writes:
But I hope you will either tune into your news outlet of choice or the White House web site to catch the annual turkey pardoning live.
And if you haven't sent in your suggestion for the name of the turkey that will be pardoned, you can do that by clicking here.
Kenny, from Montgomery, AL writes:
Seriously, the President is a plain spoken and straight forward person. I don't recall him ever getting upset with me, but we have a great relationship that allows us to have open and candid discussions.