FW: Pool report #3

From: Freedman, Dan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:42 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool report #3

More Obama's final PC:
On Cuba dry foot/wet foot. ``That was a carryover of an old way of thinking.''
After negotiations with Cuban government, ``we arrived at a policy that was appropriate and fair to the changing nature of the relationship.''
Israel/Palestine/Arab world:
``The status quo is unsustainable.''
Lack of progress in peace talks is ``bad for the region and bad for America's national security.'' US can provide a platform and facilitate, ``but we can't force them to do it.'' On US position on controversial UN resolution: ``It's important to send a signal, a wake-up call that this moment may be passing.''
``The president-elect will have his own policy.'' His choice for ambassador to Israel has different views. ``The actions we take have enormous consequences. We're the biggest kid on the block.''
LGBT rights: ``I could not be prouder of the transformation that has taken place in our society in the last decade.''
Administration worked with military to end `don't ask, don't tell.'  Administration main job was to help society move in a different direction. But ``there are still gonna be some battles taking place.''
Olympics/Title IX/expanding opportunities: U.S. eventually will have ``a woman president, a Latino president, a Jewish president, a Hindu president.''
Inequality: ``I don't want to have an America in which a small number of people are doing well and the rest are getting by on scraps.''
Voting rights: ``Ugly history'' of racism. The US is the only country (among those with elections) ``that makes it harder to vote.''
Legacy of Jim Crow/claims about voter fraud. Claims of voter fraud have been constantly debunked. Problem in US isn't that unqualified people are casting ballots illegally. ``We have the opposite problem.'' People who want to vote cannot.
Race relations remain difficult but ``it is simply not true that things have gotten worse. Things have gotten better.''
Problem of rural people, no jobs, no opportunity, no hope. ``We got a lot of work to do.''

Final question was on the girls, Malia and Sasha. The president and FLOTUS ``tried to teach them resilience, tried to teach them hope.'' Taught them when they get knocked down, get back up and go forward. ``That tended to be their attitude.''
``Both of them have grown up in an America where they couldn't help but be patriotic.''
(Think POTUS said `they don't mope' but definitely check transcript on that one.)

The girls don't get cynical. ``There are a lot more good people than bad in this country.''
``I couldn't be prouder'' of Malia and Sasha.

Dan Freedman
Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau
-Albany Times Union
-Connecticut Post
-Danbury News-Times
-Greenwich Time
-Norwalk Hour
-Stamford Advocate
Twitter: @danfreedma

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