White House chief of staff Denis McDonough pushed back against the notion his president is played out in the wake of his last State of the Union address, promising “audacious executive action” in Barack Obama’s final year in office.
During a breakfast with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, McDonough responded to the observation that the president’s final speech before Congress lacked the usual pledge to “go it alone” if lawmakers failed to act. Coupled with the feeble executive actions on gun control announced earlier this month, had President Obama rethought the utility of acting unilaterally on issues important to the White House?
“Process is your friend, but process also dictates what you can do,” McDonough said. “And we do want to make sure that the executive actions we undertake are not left hanging out there, subject to Congress undoing them.”
“And so that’s the spirit through which we’ll approach this last year,” McDonough said.