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Rebecca Nelson

National Journal Rebecca Nelson is a staff correspondent for National Journal. Her work has appeared in TIME, Chicago, Ms. and Washingtonian, where she previously covered all things D.C. Originally from Seattle, she graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and has lived and reported in Chicago, London, Los Angeles and New York.
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What to Expect From Obama's Last State of the Union Address

January 12, 2016 Late last year, Pres­id­ent Obama sat down with his top aides to dis­cuss his last State of the Uni­on ad­dress. And he made it clear that he didn’t want his fi­nale to be any­thing like those of past pres­id­en­cies. In a pre­view video re­leased last week, Obama said the ad­dress...

Why One Seat in the First Lady’s Guest Box at the State of the Union Will Be Empty

January 8, 2016 Every year, guns kill 30,000 people. At Pres­id­ent Obama’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress Tues­day, those vic­tims will have a seat set aside. A White House of­fi­cial Fri­day said that for the ad­dress—Obama’s sev­enth and fi­nal op­por­tun­ity to pro­claim that the “state of our uni­on is strong”—the pres­id­ent will leave...

Obama Sends Mixed Message With Immigration Raids

January 6, 2016 Fed­er­al agents took 121 un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants in­to cus­tody in a series of raids this week­end in Geor­gia, Texas, and North Car­o­lina, send­ing a com­plic­ated mes­sage to those on both sides of the is­sue—and re­veal­ing Pres­id­ent Obama’s del­ic­ate dance on im­mig­ra­tion. The raids, ac­cord­ing to Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment Sec­ret­ary Jeh John­son,...

How the White House Started Taking Trump Seriously

December 24, 2015 In the first days after Don­ald Trump de­clared his bid for the pres­id­ency, the White House didn’t seem con­cerned. Des­pite Trump’s poin­ted mud­sling­ing and in­fam­ous in­vect­ives, the ad­min­is­tra­tion took the high road, de­clin­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to weigh in. But then, un­ex­pec­tedly, Trump climbed to the top of the GOP primary pack—and...

Why Obama’s Tuesday Defense of Immigrants Matters

December 15, 2015 Pres­id­ent Obama speaks at a ce­re­mony grant­ing im­mig­rants Amer­ic­an cit­izen­ship every year. But in the shad­ow of heightened Is­lamo­pho­bia across the coun­try, he took the op­por­tun­ity Tues­day to make an ap­peal to Amer­ic­ans: Don’t re­peat the coun­try’s his­tory of pre­ju­dice. From for­cing Afric­ans in­to slavery to dis­play­ing signs in New...

Obama Takes a Veiled Swipe at Trump, Islamophobia

December 9, 2015 For once this week, the name Don­ald Trump didn’t come up. But it was clear who Pres­id­ent Obama was talk­ing about. Ad­van­cing the coun­try’s ideals, he said Wed­nes­day, re­quires Amer­ic­ans “to re­mem­ber that our free­dom is bound up with the free­dom of oth­ers. Re­gard­less of what they looked like or...

White House: Trump’s 'Ban All Muslims' Proposal 'Disqualifies Him From Running for President'

December 8, 2015 Just one day after Don­ald Trump un­veiled a policy pro­pos­al to ban Muslims from en­ter­ing the United States, the White House on Tues­day laid in­to the Re­pub­lic­an front-run­ner. And, like the rest of Amer­ica, Earn­est even mocked his hair. “What Don­ald Trump said yes­ter­day dis­qual­i­fies him from serving as pres­id­ent,”...

Obama: Climate Action Is America’s Duty

December 1, 2015 Even as House Re­pub­lic­ans gear up to vote against a key piece of his cli­mate-change agenda, Pres­id­ent Obama sent a mes­sage to his crit­ics from Par­is: Look around. At a press con­fer­ence at the U.N. cli­mate talks, Obama said that the sheer volume of world lead­ers at the event showed...

Obama: Paris Climate Summit is 'Rebuke to Terrorists'

November 24, 2015 A meet­ing of world lead­ers to tackle cli­mate change next week will prove the world’s mettle in the face of ter­ror­ist threats, Pres­id­ent Obama said Tues­day. “What a power­ful re­buke to the ter­ror­ists it will be when the world stands as one,” he said, “and shows that we will not...

President Obama Is Now On Facebook

November 9, 2015 Just like your dad, Pres­id­ent Obama got on the Face­book band­wag­on a little be­hind the times. On Monday, the White House launched a Face­book page for the pres­id­ent—but you can’t friend him: The Face­book pres­ence is set up as a page for a pub­lic fig­ure that users “like,” rather than...