Tue, 15 Jan 2013 06:51:09 GMT

Obama vows to socialise more in his second term

From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Jan 14 (PTI) With her two daughters growing older and not willing to spend too much time with him, US President Obama today lamented his loneliness in the White House and vowed more socialising in his second term.

At the final press conference of his first term, Obama was asked why he doesn''t socialise more often. The president protested in reply, "I''m a pretty friendly guy I like a good party."
"The nice thing is that now that my girls are getting older, they don''t want to spend that much time with me anyway, so I''ll be probably calling around, looking for somebody to play cards with me or something, because I''m getting kind of lonely in this big house." Obama said.

"So maybe a whole bunch of members of the House Republican caucus want to come over and socialise more."
"But my suspicion is, getting the issues resolved, the big stuff, whether or not we get sensible laws passed to prevent gun violence, whether or not America''s paying its bills, whether or not we get immigration reform done, all that''s going to be determined largely by where the respective parties stand on policy and, maybe most importantly, the attitude of the American people," he said.

Obama was responding to questions related to the criticism against him that that he does not socialize enough, which many believe is the key to resolving differences.

"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," he said.

"I like a good party. You know the truth is that, you know 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," he bobserved.

"Some very sharp differences in terms of where we stand on issues, and you know if you think about, let''s say myself and Speaker (John) 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," he said.

"But it doesn''t prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and, you know, blasting me for being a big-spending socialist. And the reason that in many cases Congress votes the way they do or talks the way they talk, or takes positions in negotiations that they take, doesn''t have to do with me. It has to do with the imperatives that they feel in terms of their own politics. Right? They''re worried about their district. They''re worried about what''s going on back home," Obama said.

"I promise you, we invite folks from Congress over here all the time. And when they choose to come, I enjoy their company. Sometimes they don''t choose to come, and that has to do with the fact that I think they don''t consider the optics useful for them politically. And ultimately, the way we''re going to get stuff done, personal relationships are important," said the US President.

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