Whether or not he deserves it, Donald Trump is getting respect, even charity, from President Obama. At a press conference in Lima, Peru, a reporter asked Obama about the course that Democrats should take with the new administration. Should the House Democrats re-elect Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader? Should the Democrats oppose Donald Trump as vehemently as Mitch McConnell and the Republicans obstructed him?
Praise for Pelosi
Obama did not want to interfere with the Democrats’ deliberations, especially as he was leaving. But, he said:
“I think Nancy Pelosi is an outstanding and historic political leader. So much of what we accomplished was due to her smarts, her tenacity, and her legislative skill.”
He praised her strong progressive values and her willingness to make choices that would be unpopular with her base because they were right for the American people.
They Went Low, But We Go High
As to how the Democrats should approach the Republican majority, President Obama suggested:
“Give them a hearing. I certainly don’t want them to do what Mitch McConnell did to me when I was elected.”
As you probably know, McConnell met with Republicans the night of the January 2009 inauguration to urge them to obstruct President Obama at every turn. If Obama was for something, they had to be against it, even if it meant the country went into a depression.
Regarding that, Obama said:
“That’s not why the American people send us to Washington, to play those games.”
Rather than “play those games,” the president urged Democrats to decide what they cared about most and work toward that. If the opposing party had an idea that would be good for he American people, they should try to cooperate, and they should oppose the plans that are bad for the country. Obama said that doing what he thought was best for the country had worked for him. He could leave office knowing that he had done his best and kept his oath to the American people.
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