Subject: WH travel pool report #4 remarks + wildfire update
Obama opened by mentioning forest fires in the state, said he had been
briefed on the drive here by Inslee.
Said he was able to get Craig Fugate on phone to get an emergency
declaration for electrical power.
“The trend line is for increased fires,” obama said, citing climate
change as a contributing factor.
He segued into his traditional remarks, noting economy is picking up,
oil production is booming + increased alternative energy.
“There are a lot of reasons for optimism,” he said, noting that
includes health insurance – which got a big round of applause.
But he noted there is still unease, including “some big challenges
overseas,” including Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel-Gaza
He said people’s concerns “is just the sense that around the world the
old order isn’t holding and we’re not quite where we need to be in
terms of a new order that’s based on a different set of principles..”
And he said people are worried that no matter how hard they work,
incomes are stagnant + “govt doesn’t seem to be responsive to those
concerns, at least at the federal level.”
He said people get “cynical” and “they withdraw” and special interests step in.
“My job is to make sure people know…somebody is fighting for them,” he said.
He noted a rare event had occurred earlier: he signed a bill
“Doesn’t this feel good? Let’s do it again,” he said he told lawmakers
There was a mic malfunction in which he tried a few and then just
began to talk without a mic.
“There wasn’t always microphones,” he said.
He could be heard over crowd, making a pitch for raising the minimum
wage, investing in infrastructure.
The mic returned — “testing one, two, three,” Obama said.
He said he wanted to work w Congress, but pledged to do all he could
— on climate change, minimum wage – if Congress doesn’t go along.
“If congress can’t act, we’re going to go ahead and act,” he said.
But he noted there are some things that can’t be done w/o Congress —
which controls the purse strings
“That’s why these midterm elections are so important,” he said,
cautioning against cynicism.
“I’m not overly partisan,” Obama said, noting his favorite president is Lincoln.
“The problem isn’t Republican Party per
Se, the problem is this particular group right now that has gone off
the rails,” Obama said.
Said he didn’t watch news because “whatever they’re reporting about,
usually I know.”
He said he met w Apollo 11 crew and said “nobody went to the moon
because they were skeptics. Naysayers didn’t send anyone to the moon.”
Motorcade en route to second Seattle event at 5:35 pm
Protestors were still there when we left
Obama was introduced by Libby Blume, daughter of the host, he said she
was Same age as Malia, and that both learning how to drive
He said he and her parents “Share some concern, but they seem like
sensible young ladies”
Obama spoke under a white tent near a pool, on the lawn of an
Italianate style house w a panoramic view of the lake.
Small round tables draped in purple fabric provided perches for
glasses of wine and vases of wildflowers. Several women took off their
heels to stand on chairs in the back for a better view
Inslee talked before Obama, crediting him w “bending the arc of the
moral universe forward,” citing his LGTB exec order + other measures:
He called him a “democratic prez who instead of running and ignoring
climate change, understands basic physics and science and climate
change. Who wants to embrace science rather than be fearful of it.”
“The president’s doing all that he can do,” Inslee said. “But he needs
a Congress to get off the dime.”
From deputy press secretary Eric Schultz:
This afternoon the President was updated by Governor Inslee on the
impact of the wildfires on communities in Washington. The President
and Governor discussed the close collaboration between federal, state,
and local agencies working together to respond to the fires and the
needs of people impacted by them. The President reiterated his
commitment to provide whatever assistance is warranted. This
afternoon’s discussion follows a briefing the President received
earlier this morning from his Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco.
“The President and Governor also called the widow of retired State
Trooper Rob Koczewski of Carlton, Washington, who suffered a heart
attack while trying to protect his home and his neighbors’ homes from
spot fires. The President extended heartfelt condolences from himself
and the First Lady.”
White House Correspondent