Antisocial Obama? The politics of presidential partying
No sooner did the "fiscal cliff" confrontation come to an end that the stage was set for the next partisan battle over the country's financial future. Major Garrett reports on the looming debt ceiling standoff.
(CBS News) Obama held the last press conference of his first term on Monday, taking questions on a range of subjects that have characterized recent weeks in Washington: the debt ceiling, gun control, and the "fiscal cliff."
But the president also addressed an unusual question, taking on the criticism that he is too insular and maybe even antisocial.
"Most people who know me, know I'm a pretty friendly guy," Obama said. "And, I like a good party."
The president reminded reporters on Monday that he did play a friendly round of gold with House Speaker John Boehner in 2011. "I like Speaker Boehner personally and when we went out and played golf, we had a great time," Obama claimed.
He was quick to put the golf game in context, saying it did not help resolve the budget impasse, but perhaps hinting at a more social second term, "The nice thing is, now that my girls are getting older, they don't want to spend that much time with me anyway, so I'll probably be calling around, looking for somebody to play cards with me," Obama said.
"I'm getting kind of lonely in this big house," he joked, before adding, "Maybe a whole bunch of members of the House Republican caucus want to come over and socialize more."
Presidential historian and CBS News consultant Douglas Brinkley told Bill Plante that there is another reason that the supposedly affable president has not connected with Congress
"Things have changed in Washington. Since the bipartisanship is not there, characters like Ted Kennedy who used to be able to be friends with the opposition are gone," Brinkley explained. "He just hasn't been able to find that special bond like Reagan had with Tip O'Neill from Capitol Hill," he added.
Despite the discord between Congress and the White House, Brinkley said, "Remember Obama has over 50 percent approval rating. Congress is around 17 percent on a good day. The blame here may not be on the president."
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