From: John Stanton
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:57 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: In town pool report 5
At 1:32 the pool entered the back dining room of Bus Boys and Poets, where POTUS and his guests were seated around a table.
POTUS appeared to be jockin your pooler's fashion sense, with his top button undone and sleeves rolled up. He also demonstrated he knows what's up with Bus Boys and Poets' menu, ordering the burger which he declared excellent (it is).
POTUS said he will continue to make criminal justice reform a "top priority" if his administration and argued commutations and pardons are a key way "to show people what a 2nd chance looks like."
"You've got folks around this table who are now attorneys. Their raising children, getting married," Obama said, noting Phillip Emmert of Des Moines had been convicted for dealing crystal meth but "had the strength to do everything he could to get trained" and now works for the VA. Emmert is "an example of what we mean when we talk about second chances."
He noted he has commuted 268 persons, more than "the previous six presidents combined."
Asked what his message is to employers, he noted the restaurant employs former convicts and that "if they are willing to look past mistakes often made at 22, 23 ... you'll wind up getting really hard working, loyal employees.
POTUS said he is "still hopeful that criminal justice reform can get done" in Congress, and singled out Speaker Ryan for praise for his support.
The pool exited the restaurant at 1:42 and we rolled out at 1:50.
Sent from my iPhone