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  • In this image released by the White House, President Barack Obama edits his speech in the Oval Office prior to making a televised statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, Sunday, May 1, 2011, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

    Outsider hired for Obama speeches

    On top of the more than half a million dollars it spends on speechwriters, the White House is using tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a public relations firm headed by Democratic image maker Michael Sheehan — once dubbed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as an "extraordinary media coach" who helped her master the teleprompter.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the annual Tennessee Democratic Party Jackson Day on Friday, July 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.

    White House breaches no-bid contracts vow

    President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. pledged to end abuse of no-bid contracting and require competitive bidding on nearly all contract orders for more than $25,000 across the federal government. But the White House has made at least one exception.

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