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? “We’ll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I’m confident of that,” said McDonough, explaining that President Obama’s decision not to outline specific executive actions was more about a commitment to process than a lack of willpower. FULL REPORT