Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
     So if you think about my first four years, the person who probably had the most influence on my foreign policy was a woman. The people who were in charge of moving forward my most important domestic initiative, health care, were women.  The person in charge of our homeland security was a woman.  My two appointments to the Supreme Court were women, and 50 percent of my White House staff were women.  So I think people should expect that that record will be built upon during the next four years.
 
 
 
     Now, what, I’ve made four appointments so far?  And one women -- admittedly, a high-profile one -- is leaving the -- has already left the administration, and I have made a replacement. But I would just suggest that everybody kind of wait until they’ve seen all my appointments, who’s in the White House staff and who’s in my Cabinet before they rush to judgment.
 
 
 
     Q    (Inaudible) -- the big three.
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, but I guess what I’m saying, Jackie, is that I think until you’ve seen what my overall team looks like, it’s premature to assume that somehow we’re going backwards.  We’re not going backwards, we’re going forward.
 
 
 
     With respect to this “truism” about me not socializing enough and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know I’m a pretty friendly guy.  (Laughter.)  And I like a good party.  (Laughter.)  And the truth is that when I was in the Senate, I had great relationships over there, and up until the point that I became President this was not an accusation that you heard very frequently. 
 
 
 
I think that really what’s gone on in terms of some of the paralysis here in Washington or difficulties in negotiations just have to do with some very stark differences in terms of policy, some very sharp differences in terms of where we stand on issues. And if you think about, let's say, myself and Speaker Boehner, I like Speaker Boehner personally, and when we went out and played golf we had a great time.  But that didn't get a deal done in 2011.  When I'm over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time.  (Laughter.)  But it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and blasting me for being a big-spending socialist.  (Laughter.) 

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