Latest update: 24/03/2010
Health care legislation signed… with 22 pens!
The International Herald Tribune says “with the stroke of a pen”, Obama signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the US healthcare system. But was it just one pen or many, many pens? The Washington Post asks “ever try to sign your name with 22 pens? Not so easy.” Indeed, it took the left-landed president more than 90 seconds to sign the bill in a tradition which sees him use almost two dozen commemorative pens.
Can you imagine how odd the signature looked? If there are ten letters in the words “Barack Obama” that means he signed less than half a letter with each pen…
One of the souvenir pens was given to Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Teddy Kennedy. Nancy Pelosi got another one, as did Joe Biden. Obama kept one of the pens for himself.
The editorial of New York Times is entitled, “The Day After” and says, “It is worth pausing to dwell on what happened in the White House on Tuesday: President Obama, just over a year into a tumultuous presidency in which he was sometimes wrong-footed and often adrift, signed the most momentous social legislation in years.”
It calls the legislation an “overdue and vital step in the construction of a social safety net” and says Obama must now build on his success, notably in creating jobs.
Other stories in today’s international papers:
The Independent: Clone Wars
The Guardian: Britons queued at Ben Gurion airport as Israeli officials cloned passports
The Daily Mail: Tony Blair in citizen's arrest scare as Brussels journalist tries to detain him over 'war crimes'
The Independent: The man from Senegal who bakes the finest baguettes in Paris