New Ambulance in Austin Texas!
Even the Obama's can't control everything!
Ben Stein on our know nothing president. (See 1 below.)
The job picture remains iffy because Obama's policies threaten the halting recovery by creating uncertainty. (See 2 and 2a below.)
If women succumb to Obama's questionable charms by voting for him this will prove an anatomical fact! (See 3 and 3a below.)
Obama's naive? appeasement plan to Iran, the knife in Israel's back for campaign purposes? and all done, this time, without an open 'mic.' (See 4 below.)
Suleiman reverses! It is Suleiman versus Sharia!(See 5 below.)
1)A Know Nothing
By BEN STEIN
What else besides the Constitution does Mr. Obama not know?
Here, in outline form, is why the pronouncements from President Barack Obama, warning the Supreme Court to not overturn Obamacare. are so chilling:
1. The President supposedly went to Harvard Law School, graduated from same, was Law Review President of the Harvard Law Review at Harvard Law School. Then he supposedly taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Those are powerful law schools. Yet he obviously knows little of how the Constitution works if he thinks it would be rare or startling for the Supreme Court to overrule a law passed by Congress.
Judging whether or not a law is constitutional is precisely, exactly what the Supreme Court does. Passing on the constitutional muster of laws is their job. They do it often with federal laws and with state laws. The Supreme Court overruling legislatures is a commonplace.
If President Obama does not know this, it's a mark against Harvard and against the University of Chicago. Mostly, it is a serious mark against President Obama.
2. If he does not know how the government works under the Constitution, he should not be President.
3. If he does not know how the Constitution works even in its broadest strokes, what else does he not know?
He apparently thinks that it's his job to leave Western Europeans and Americans stripped of missile defense. He apparently thinks it's his job to unilaterally disarm America. That shows a yawning chasm in what he knows and what he does not know.
Another subject Mr. Obama thinks he knows about and doesn't is the oil companies. He hates them. He thinks they are subsidized by the workers in the cotton fields and then they exploit those workers. That is nonsense. Every business, every household, gets some deductions or credits for something. That's the way the tax code works. The taxpayers are not subsidizing "Big Oil" and "Big Oil" is now a lot smaller than it was twenty years ago. Now, the state players in the major oil producing states are the big boys. But why does Mr. Obama loathe the oil companies in the first place? They provide an essential product at a market price. They do not fix prices. The provide employment to millions and a comfortable way to travel to hundreds of millions. Why does Mr. Obama hate them? Because of a juvenile, City College of New York circa 1937 leftist view of the whole world. Sad. Disturbing. That is a highly anti-American worldview.
4. Is he really so arrogant that he thinks he can lecture and threaten the Court? This is his second attempt to bully and demean the Court. Is this from arrogance or from foolishness and arrogance? In either case, it is not good.
This man is getting to scare me. I personally am not terribly alarmed about Obamacare. I am terribly alarmed at a President who knows almost nothing about the Constitution. Meanwhile, who taught him Con Law? Time for some restraint. I actually find Mr. Obama likeable and upbeat most of the time. But in this case, he showed way too much of another side.
2)An unpleasant employment surprise
By Felix Salmon
So that was unpleasant: I guess we’ve all just become so used to healthy jobs report that a weak one like this comes as a nasty shock. And it is a bad report: for all that the margin of error is high, and the unemployment rate (which, remember, is basically the one number which matters politically) fell, the Establishment Survey was riddled through with weakness, both in terms of February’s numbers and in terms of revisions to December and January. Even weekly earnings fell.
So there’s bad news here, which is that judging by this one report, some of the steam might have gone out of the recovery. And there’s a little bit of good news too, which is that it’s just one report, not a trend, and that it has a very wide margin of error; that the economy’s still creating jobs, even if it’s not creating them as fast as we had hoped; and that it wasn’t all that long ago that a +120,000 headline figure would have been taken as something decidedly encouraging. So the expectations baseline has moved significantly upwards, and in many ways it’s the expectations baseline, rather than the numbers themselves, which drives investment.
The markets always care a lot about the non-farm payroll figures, but this report will ultimately have almost no effect on either politics or policy. Politics because the Household Survey showed unemployment falling, and policy because it’s actually pretty much what the Federal Reserve expected. As far as the real-world ramifications of this are concerned, they’re small and mainly related to the fact that long-dated Treasury bonds now yield about 0.1% less than they did yesterday. Which is important if you’re a fixed-income trader, and isn’t if you’re not.
So if you’re taking today off, there’s not a whole lot to worry about here. Go off and enjoy your long weekend. But be sure to go back to work next week!
2a)U.S. Labor Market Slows Its Stride
Employers Notch 120,000 Jobs, Amid Still-Fragile Recovery
By NEIL SHAH And CAROL E. LEE
The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs last month, less than expected and an indication that momentum could be slowing.
U.S. employers throttled back hiring last month, undermining views that the recovery was gaining momentum but stirring investors' hopes of further steps by the Federal Reserve to spur the economy.
The government's main snapshot of the labor market showed employers added 120,000 jobs in March, half the upwardly revised number of the month before. That snapped a three-month streak of 200,000-plus jobs growth, the economy's best showing since 2006. There were bright spots: Wages inched up and governments cut just 1,000 jobs, suggesting the drag from big public-sector cutbacks is easing.
But mostly, the picture was disappointing at a time when all eyes are on the U.S. to help keep global growth humming. The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of households, edged down to 8.2% from 8.3%, its lowest point in three years. However, that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.
Friday's report stirred fears of a repeat of what happened in the early part of the past two years, when signs of strength petered out as months ticked by. Consumers increased their borrowing in February, Federal Reserve data showed Friday, but use of credit cards dropped for the second month, suggesting a pullback on some expenses. But most economists cautioned it was too soon to conclude that a slowing trend is under way. Private economists and the Federal Reserve have predicted that job creation would moderate this year, given that overall demand growth remains subdued and the economy faces challenges such as higher oil prices.
Stock markets in the U.S. and Europe were closed for Good Friday but prices of futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank on the employment news, sending investors scrambling into bonds as the value of the dollar fell.
The weak report is likely to revive hope among investors that the Federal Reserve will do more to stimulate the economy later this year. However, the report by itself likely didn't send a strong-enough signal about the economy to spur a change in the Fed's stance. The central bank has indicated plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero into 2014 but reluctance to add to its unconventional bond-buying programs unless the outlook clearly deteriorates or inflation slows. The bond-buying programs are meant to drive down long-term interest rates and encourage spending and investment.
Friday's reading suggests the job market hasn't been quite as robust as earlier reports indicated, but doesn't point to a stall. Moreover, wage growth seemed to be firm. It was up 2.1% in March from a year earlier, right around the Fed's inflation objective of 2%. Taken together, the data suggest that while more action by the Fed to boost growth is still possible, the central bank likely hasn't moved strongly in that direction.
The report also added fuel to the presidential race. President Barack Obama, speaking Fridayat a White House event on women and the economy, zeroed in on private-sector growth to try to capture a more positive snapshot of the jobs outlook than the one reflected in the overall March report. He noted that 4 million private-sector jobs have been created in the past two years and more than 600,000 in the past three months.
"We welcome today's news that our businesses created another 121,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked down," Mr. Obama said. "But it's clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way and that we've got a lot more work to do."
The economy is the centerpiece challenge for Mr. Obama in his re-election fight. His likely Republican opponent this November, Mitt Romney, has criticized his handling of the economy, and on Friday Republicans emphasized that the tick down in the unemployment rate was largely due to people dropping out of the work force. Mr. Romney issued a statement Friday saying "the Obama economy is not working" and after having three years to fix it "the president's excuses have run out." The former Massachusetts governor's charges were echoed by Republicans in Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a statement said the report shows that businesses are struggling "because of President Obama's failed economic policies."
Administration officials pushed back against the criticism and accentuated the positives in the report. Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, said private-sector growth over the last several months has exceeded White House estimates.
Hiring was lackluster in many industries. Retail-store employment dropped by 34,000, despite a recent rise in consumer spending, while construction payrolls fell by 7,000. Temporary-help jobs, often a bellwether of the job market's direction, fell by 7,500 after rising by nearly 55,000 in February.
"This serves as a big reality check for folks that were thinking that economic growth had ratcheted up to the point where the Federal Reserve didn't need to worry so much," said Mark Vitner, economist at Wells Fargo Securities.
To be sure, the government's jobs figures are volatile and subject to significant revisions. Some economists said mild winter weather and quirks in the government's methods for adjusting for seasonality may have pushed the jobs estimates artificially higher at the start of the year, making a drop-off inevitable.
The weak report could provide an answer toa question that has perplexed economists for months: Why is the employment picture improving so rapidly when economic growth is sluggish? Friday's report suggests more economicgrowth may be required for further gains in employment to be sustainable.
One bright spot was manufacturing jobs, which rose by 37,000, led by the auto and auto-parts industries. Honda Motor Co. is investing $800 million in new plants in Ohio, Indiana and Alabama, with its Lincoln, Ala., plant adding 140 jobs, said Edward Miller, a spokesman for Honda. "We see the economy improving," he said.
But companies and consumers are likely to proceed cautiously given the risk of renewed economic woe.
Paul Sayler, sales manager at Milbank Ford & Mercury Inc., a car dealership in Milbank, S.D., said he is seeing "tremendous traffic" of customers looking to buy new cars. Two weeks ago, his 11-person firm held a meeting to decide whether to ramp up hiring to meet the demand. But they decided against it.
"I'm a pessimist," the 37-year-old Mr. Sayler said. He worries that rising gasoline prices will eventually snuff out demand for cars the way it did in 2008. "Obviously we're hoping that doesn't happen."
—Jon Hilsenrath contributed to this article.
3)Haley to Newsmax: Romney Wife Secret 'Gem' to Court Women Voters
By Paul Scicchitano and John Bachman
While GOP front-runner Mitt Romney lags behind President Barack Obama in his appeal to female voters for the time being, the former Massachusetts governor has a secret “gem” at his disposal, says one of the Republican Party’s most influential female leaders, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
“He’s got to work on getting women, but I will tell you his biggest ammunition and his biggest gem that he’s got is Ann Romney,” declared Haley on Thursday. “She’s an amazing woman who has battled cancer, battled MS, but is a strong mother, wife, survivor, and support to her husband. And I think she’ll be a great asset when it comes to bringing more women on.”
The president has opened a significant lead over Romney in the nation’s top battleground states primarily as a result of a major shift in how women under 50 are planning to vote, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released earlier this week.
The poll of at least a dozen key states, gave Obama a 51 to 42 percent edge over Romney among registered voters, and an 18-point lead among all women voters, which USA Today described as “a greater disparity between the views of men and women than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election” that helped Obama win the White House.
Haley, who endorsed Romney even though her Palmetto State voters overwhelmingly went for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in South Carolina’s January primary, said Romney would do well to engage women in a meaningful dialogue over the issues they care about.
“I think first of all, women are very thoughtful. They’re not one-issue type voters,” observed Haley, author of “Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story,” which chronicles her journey from being part of the first Indian family in a small Southern town to becoming the first female governor of South Carolina.
“They care about jobs. They care about the economy. They care about healthcare, and education, and the debt of our children and our grandchildren, and so I think what Gov. Romney needs to do is go to women and talk to them — and talk about their concerns and their issues. And that’s how you relate with them,” advised Haley.
One important lesson Romney can take from Haley’s successful gubernatorial campaign at age 38, is not to necessarily focus on people who are like minded. “You go to the people that you want to really relate to — that you want to show that you are more similar than you are different,” she said. “You want to show them where you do agree, and I think, you know he’s got to work on that.”
She chose Romney in part because she wanted someone who understood her plight as a governor, but who also was removed from day-to-day Washington politics.
“The number one thing is I do not want anyone associated with Washington,” she insisted. “It is chaotic. I feel like we need new fresh leadership. I wanted someone that knew what it was like to be on the other side of government— that knew what it was like to hire, and create jobs, and knew what it was like when businesses failed.”
Romney, more so than his Republican contenders, fit the bill. “You put all that on top of the fact that he took a failing Olympics, made it a source of pride in our country,” she said. “This is someone who hasn’t just talked about winning. He actually knows what he’s going to do the first six months he’s in office and I think that’s the kind of leadership that we need.”
Even so, she is not about to tell Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, or Texas Rep. Ron Paul to get out of the race.
“I think we all need to remember that all of these candidates have sacrificed a lot. They all have great intentions,” Haley explained. “They all — including their families — are fighting for what they think is the best for our country, and so I don’t think it’s necessarily up to us to tell them to get out. I think they will know when it’s right for them.”
Meanwhile, she is concerned that Obama is getting the upper hand — at least for the time being.
“My only fear is we’re watching President Obama start to really become a bully, and become aggressive, and become all of these things toward the Republican Party,” she said. “Every day we don’t have a nominee is one more day that he bullies, and one more day that he raises money.”
The president’s attempt to influence the Supreme Court on Obamacare earlier this week was nothing less than bullying and reflected an overall sense of desperation.
“We’ve watched him bully and scold the Republicans on the budget when he’s been unable to get a balanced budget,” she said. “This is a president that has increased more debt in his three years than Bush did in eight. And now it is unbelievable that there are three branches of government, and he’s actually going to attempt to bully the Supreme Court into doing what he wants.”
While Haley has all but taken herself out of the running for consideration as a vice presidential nominee, she does not rule anything out for the future.
“You know I’m not a planner. If you had asked me if I’d ever run for the State House I would have said ‘you were crazy,’ ” she said, describing herself as an accountant and business person who thought the state needed more business people in government. “When I feel like the people have felt my being there, and feel justified in that I’ve done a good job, then I’ll decide what’s next.”
While conservative voters in her state and others appear to have been slow to embrace Romney, Haley said that they have been united in a common view that Obama must not be re-elected.
“We have to look at President Obama’s record,” she explained. “We’ve lost our credit rating for the first time.”
Not to mention Obama’s promise that unemployment would not rise above 8 percent once his stimulus plan was passed.
“Go into a grocery store and buy milk and think about what it was four years ago. Go to the gas pump. That’s all we need to do is stay focused,” she urged. “President Obama is going to distract. He’s going to complain. He’s going to scare the public into trying to re-elect him again. But what I will tell you is as you see Republicans going through these changes of candidates — we might be trying to look for what we want in a nominee. What we all will gather around — what we all will support — is we know what we don’t want, and we don’t want what we’ve had the past three years.”
© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
3a)Republicans just don’t get it
As the GOP continues to repel women voters, can you blame President Obama for opening his arms to greet them?
BY JOAN WALSH
Just as Mitt Romney was making the case to Newsmax, that paragon of journalistic integrity, that the so-called Republican war on women is entirely concocted by Democrats, Republican Scott Walker was quietly signing a law that repealed Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement law, which made it easier for women to seek damages in discrimination cases. Driven by state business lobbies, the repeal passed the GOP-dominated Legislature on a strict party line vote, and Walker signed it, with no comment, Thursday afternoon.
President Obama, meanwhile, was hosting a White House summit on women and the economy Thursday. Predictably, Republicans howled that the president is merely courting another “interest group” and playing politics. There was no doubt some politics at play during the summit; at one point participants chanted, “Four more years!”
But really, when Republicans are repealing equal pay laws and proposing federal budgets that disproportionately hurt women, as well as restricting funding for contraception, who’s playing politics with women’s issues?
When GOP poster boy Scott Walker is repealing equal-pay protections for women, why shouldn’t Obama remind us that he signed the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act? Since the Ryan budget repeals “Obamacare” and slashes Medicaid and Medicare – both of which disproportionately serve women — is it unfair to talk about how the Affordable Care Act provides cost-free contraception, preventive care like mammograms and Pap smears, and outlaws charging women more for insurance?
Yes, it’s an election year, so everything the president does will be scrutinized for its political agenda. That’s fine. But I continue to find it hilarious that Republicans insist that their troubles with women are the fault of nasty Democrats. Contraception aside, they’re the ones cutting programs for women and repealing equal pay protection. To Newsmax, Mitt Romney again complained that Democrats are distorting the GOP position on contraception. And again I say: Democrats didn’t crusade to defund Planned Parenthood. Democrats didn’t introduce personhood legislation that would outlaw certain types of contraception. They didn’t propose the Blunt amendment that would have allowed employers to deny insurance coverage for contraception as well as any health care treatment they don’t approve of.
I wrote the other day that concern about contraception isn’t the only issue driving the GOP’s widening gender gap.
But a recent USA Today poll found that women in swing states say their number one issue is women’s health care (men say deficits and the economy), and that makes an interesting point: Women see contraception as an integral part of their overall health care – as it is. We know that most women who use the pill, for instance, use it for a health reason other than contraception only. Republicans are the ones fetishizing birth control and putting it outside the boundaries of women’s health care.
Mitt Romney and the GOP just don’t get it. Everything about the way they’re approaching these issues is backfiring.
I’ll be discussing all of this on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Republican Ron Christie at 5:30 ET
4)Exclusive: What were the six points Obama sent Khamenei through Erdogan?
The Obama message was delivered but never answered.
After a two-hour, 15-minute conversation with US President Barack Obama in Seoul on March 25, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan undertook to fly to Tehran and personally hand Obama’s six-point message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The note, which laid out the American position for the nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers that were scheduled to open in Istanbul on April 13, was delivered on March 29.
Iranian sources report the exercise was not a success.
The Iranian leader has not replied to the US president’s communication up until the present. Instead, in the past week, Tehran has turned its guns on Prime Minister Erdogan and refused to accept Turkey as venue for the nuclear talks.
Washington has explained this setback by a controversy among heads of the regime in Tehran over the US President’s six points. Iranian sources strongly doubt this since, quite simply, the Islamic regime is a one-man show. Khamenei makes the decisions and he has clearly decided not to send a reply.
1. Tehran must come to the talks ready to show it is seriously and genuinely open to a compromise deal on its nuclear program;
2. A negative attitude on Iran’s part would result in President Obama merging the back-channel US-Iranian dialogue with the formal diplomatic negotiating track.
He asked the Turkish prime minister to inform the Supreme Leader that the Russian and Chinese presidents, Hu Jintao and Dmitry Medvedev, had agreed to go along with this position if Khamenei found it acceptable.
3. Any deal would require a commitment from Khamenei to freeze – though not dismantle - all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program from the moment an accord was reached. No new projects must be initiated and all progress arrested.
For example: The centrifuges already functioning in the Fordo underground plant near Qom must not be expanded; research on nuclear weapons and the construction of models be discontinued; and the transition of uranium enrichment from 3.5 percent grade to 20 percent halted.
The entire program would remain frozen in place.
4. President Obama asked Erdogan to convey a personal message from him to the Iranian leader:
He was favorably impressed with the ayatollah’s comments in the New Year speech he broadcast live on state television Tuesday, March 20: “We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them,” said the ayatollah. “But in the face of aggression from enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, we will defend ourselves with attacks on the same level as our enemies attack us.”
Obama also responded to another Khamenei remark. Addressing thousands of pilgrims gathered at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, the Supreme Leader said: “The Americans are making a grave mistake if they think that by making threats they will destroy the Iranian nation.”
To this, the US President answered that neither he nor America entertained any such intention.
5. Tehran must change the hostile anti-US tone of its speeches and publications and stop calling America an enemy and the Great Satan. In place of antipathy, Obama would deeply appreciate a series of helpful comments coming from Iranian leaders and news reports out of Tehran, especially if they highlighted an improved Islamic Republican attitude towards the United States as a result of his administration’s polices.
Erdogan was asked to hold up as an example of the sort of remark Obama had in mind the words of praise Khamenei offered President Obama on March 8, “for promoting diplomacy rather than war” as a solution to Tehran’s nuclear ambition.
More of this sort of rhetoric would be welcome, the Turkish prime minister was directed to inform Tehran.
The US presidential campaign was never mentioned, however, the rewards accruing to Tehran from extending a helping hand for Obama’s reelection were evident in the subtext.
Benign Iranian references to America would allow Obama to credit his foreign policy with kudos for an important breakthrough to the Islamic Republic. The improved climate surrounding relations would reduce the hazards of a war being launched against Iran. By helping to get him returned for a second term, Tehran would find the US president ready to pursue policies agreed between him and Khamenei in the course of their secret dialogue.
6. Erdogan was asked to explain the US President’s strategy of drawing a close linkage between the shifts in US policy on Iran and its nuclear program, on the one hand, and the Syrian crisis, on the other. This approach had guided Obama’s hand in his thus far successful moves to block Muslim-Arab-Western military intervention in Syria.
The US president believes that a coalition working on the Syrian crisis, composed of Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and the United Nations (the UN and Arab League envoy former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was mentioned in this regard) could be equally successful in resolving the Iranian nuclear controversy.
5) Egyptian ex-regime strongman to run for president
After saying he would not run, former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman changes his mind after hundreds rally to support his bid. Muslim Brotherhood: Serious threat to revolution
By Roi Kias
A former strongman of ousted President Hosni Mubarak's regime has announced his presidential candidacy, shaking up an already heated race that is emerging as a contest between two longtime rivals - former regime officials and Islamists who have surged in influence.
Omar Suleiman, one of the most powerful figures of Mubarak's regime, had said earlier this week that he would not run. But he said he changed his mind after hundreds of people rallied in Cairo to support a bid.
The Friday announcement drew outrage from youth activists who spearheaded the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak last year and have since been disappointed by the continued influence of members of his ex-regime. Liberals and revolutionaries have been largely squeezed out of the presidential race. Some have vowed to boycott the May 23-24 balloting altogether.
"I find it incomprehensible that one of the top figures of the old regime, who should be on trial right now as a criminal, is actually considering running for president," said Mohammad Radwan, who took part in last year's mass protests.
The 75-year-old former general must get 30,000 signatures by Sunday's official filing deadline or the backing of at least 30 parliamentarians in order to run. Suleiman could be the ruling generals' preferred candidate, someone who would try to keep the old political system intact and protect the privileges of the military.
"This is a bullet to the Egyptian revolution," said spokesman Ahmed Khair of the liberal Free Egyptians Party. "His candidacy means that the revolution is not moving down its natural path and it means that the Egyptian citizen will the pay the price."
Suleiman, who appeared on television on Feb. 11, 2011 to announce that Mubarak would step down and hand power to the country's military leaders, served as Egypt's intelligence chief for 18 years at a time when the regime was accused of carrying out torture and human rights abuses against dissenters. He also was longtime a confidant of Mubarak.
That makes him suspect in the eyes of many Egyptians, who had hoped to stamp out the old regime altogether and usher in a transition to democracy.
A win for Suleiman would largely keep control of Egypt in the hands of the military. Egypt's last four presidents have all been military men.
His decision also was the latest surprise in the first presidential race since Mubarak was ousted after nearly 30 years in power.
Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized Islamist movement, named its chief strategist and financier Khairat el-Shater as a candidate, reversing an earlier pledge not to participate in the election. The long-outlawed Brotherhood already controls about half of the seats in parliament and would completely dominate the political arena if el-Shater wins.
The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party posted Suleiman's announcement to run for president on its official Facebook page, with five photos of him smiling and shaking hands with top Israeli officials, including former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Shimon Peres and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the backdrop of the Israeli flag.
"This is a serious threat to the revolution," a Brotherhood statement said Friday, adding that Suleiman's campaign will be supported by "remnants of Mubarak's dissolved parties and the enemies of the revolution in an attempt to establish an identical regime."
Kamal al-Hilbawi, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, told an Egyptian television station that Suleiman has turned Egypt into a "slaughterhouse." He claimed that Suleiman served as an agent for American intelligence agencies and had tied to Israel's Mossad.
Suleiman, who was appointed vice president shortly after the uprising began, is well known and respected by US officials and has traveled to Washington many times. He was the point person on both the US relationship and the Israel-Egyptian relationship under Mubarak, once a close US ally.
Suleiman's entry in the race is likely to be welcomed by Egyptians who fear their country might be slipping into chaos after a turbulent year of deadly protests against the military's continued rule that have battered the economy. His insider knowledge of the political system could make him one of the front-runners in the crowded field.
His supporters also fear that Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, is falling into the hands of Islamists, some of whom have called for a strict application of Islamic law and cutting ties with neighboring Israel.
Hundreds rallied Friday in Cairo to call for him to run for president.
Suleiman said that helped change his mind.
"I can only meet the call and run in the presidential race, despite the constraints and difficulties I made clear in my former statement," he said in a statement carried by the official MENA news agency on Friday. He said he faces administrative obstacles, but did not elaborate.
Tarek Shalaby, a blogger and socialist activist, said he does not believe Suleiman has a strong chance of winning, though, since he was a central figure of Mubarak's widely despised regime.
Shalaby said Suleiman's bid will only push those fearful of Islamists to vote for presidential hopeful Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief and foreign minister who is courting the liberal and secular vote. Shalaby also said he is boycotting the election because he does not believe it will be free or fair under military rule.
Meanwhile, thousands of ultraconservative supporters of Islamist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail, a 50-year-old lawyer-turned-preacher, rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square to support him after it was announced that his mother was an American citizen, which could disqualify him as a candidate if he cannot prove otherwise. He has called it an "elaborate plot" against him and says his mother only had a Green Card. A preacher speaking to the crowd at Tahrir Square on Friday said the attacks against Abu Ismail amounted to attacks against God's rule.
The presidential vote is set to take place end of May, with a possible run off later. The announcement of who will lead Egypt is to be announced no later than end of June.