To mark a peaceful transition of leadership from current President Obama to the man who will succeed him, the two met at the White House to discuss matters of policy and the various challenges ahead.
President Obama opened up before the cacophonous camera clatter of reporters:
“Well, I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with President-elect Trump. It was wide-ranging. We talked about some of the organizational issues in setting up the White House. We talked about foreign policy, we talked about domestic policy.
“And, as I said last night, my number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful. And, I have been very encouraged at the interest in President-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this country faces.
“And, I believe that it’s important for all of us, regardless of party, and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, and deal with the many challenges that we face.
“And, in the meantime, Michelle has had a chance to greet the incoming First Lady. And, we had an excellent conversation with her as well, and we want to make sure that they feel welcome as they prepare to make this transition.
“And most of all, I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”
The President motioned to Trump to say a few words. Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, thank you very much, President Obama.
“This was a meeting that was going to last for maybe ten or fifteen minutes, and we were just going to get to know each other – we had never met each other. I have great respect – the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could have – as far as I’m concerned – it could have gone on for a lot longer.
“We discussed a lot of different situations – some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the President in the future, including counsel.
“He explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets, and some of the really great things that have been achieved. So, Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times. Thank you.”
At that point, the two shook hands, and reporters clamored to ask questions, but the President told them that they wouldn’t be taking any questions. Obama used that as an opportunity to give the President-elect some advice about reporters: “Here’s a good rule: Don’t answer the questions when they just start yelling.”
Is it just me, or did things seem a bit awkward? I think the President was assuming – as with most everybody else – that there’d be a seamless transition from himself to Hillary Clinton. No doubt that meeting would have looked a lot more jovial.
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