WASHINGTON DC – President Barack Obama turned to Chicago Tribune Christi Parsons for the last question at his final press conference Wednesday.
Parsons, who has covered Obama since the early 1990s, remained true to the style of questioning she's always posed with him. It's the same type of questioning the Chicago mainstream media has followed throughout the past twenty years. From WhiteHouse.gov's transcript:
… Christi, you are going to get the last question…
THE PRESIDENT: Christi is — I’ve been knowing her since Springfield, Illinois. When I was a state senator, she listened to what I had to say. (Laughter.) So the least I can do is give her the last question as President of the United States…
Q Well, thank you, Mr. President. It has been an honor.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
Q And I have a personal question for you, because I know how much you like this. The First Lady puts the stakes of the 2016 election in very personal terms in a speech that resonated across the country, and she really spoke the concerns of a lot of women, LGBT folks, people of color, many others. And so I wonder now how you and the First Lady are talking to your daughters about the meaning of this election and how you interpret it for yourself and for them.
THE PRESIDENT: You know, every parent brags on their daughters or their sons. If your mom and dad don’t brag on you, you know you got problems. (Laughter.) But, man, my daughters are something, and they just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up. And so these days, when we talk, we talk as parent to child, but also we learn from them.
And I think it was really interesting to see how Malia and Sasha reacted. They were disappointed. They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it’s consistent with what we’ve tried to teach them in our household, and what I've tried to model as a father with their mom, and what we've asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses.
But what we've also tried to teach them is resilience, and we've tried to teach them hope, and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. And so you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off, and you get back to work. And that tended to be their attitude.
I think neither of them intend to pursue a future of politics — and, in that, too, I think their mother's influence shows. (Laughter.) But both of them have grown up in an environment where I think they could not help but be patriotic, to love this country deeply, to see that it's flawed but see that they have responsibilities to fix it. And that they need to be active citizens, and they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future coworkers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury.
And I expect that's what they're going to do. They do not — they don't mope. And what I really am proud of them — what makes me proudest about them is that they also don't get cynical about it. They have not assumed because their side didn't win, or because some of the values that they care about don't seem as if they were vindicated, that automatically America has somehow rejected them or rejected their values. I don't think they feel that way.
I think that they have, in part through osmosis, in part through dinnertime conversations, appreciated the fact that this is a big, complicated country, and democracy is messy and it doesn't always work exactly the way you might want, it doesn't guarantee certain outcomes. But if you're engaged and you're involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country, and there's a core decency to this country, and that they got to be a part of lifting that up.
And I expect they will be. And in that sense, they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic.
I've been asked — I've had some off-the-record conversations with some journalists where they said, okay, you seem like you're okay, but really, really, what are you thinking? (Laughter.) And I've said, no, what I'm saying really is what I think. I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen, I think there's evil in the world, but I think that at the end of the day, if we work hard, and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time.
That's what this presidency has tried to be about. And I see that in the young people I've worked with. I couldn't be prouder of them. And so this is not just a matter of "No Drama Obama" — this is what I really believe. It is true that behind closed doors I curse more than I do publicly. (Laughter.) And sometimes I get mad and frustrated, like everybody else does. But at my core, I think we're going to be okay. We just have to fight for it. We have to work for it, and not take it for granted. And I know that you will help us do that.
Thank you very much, press corps. Good luck.
View the exchange HERE.
“Mr. Obama, I mean, ‘Mr. soon-to-be-former president,’
Who’s YOUR favorite Beatle?”
This is not as bad as it might read. With no hard news to make on his last day all a reporter can do is ask a softball question sometimes. When you think back to 2008 most reporters has a teenage crush on Obama and it stayed with some of them for 8 years.
Yeah. She had to ask SOMETHING, so her boss would know she was actually there, not hanging out in a bar with some Associated Press clown.
Do you need more evidence as to why the Chicago Tribune is plummeting in circulation?