White House Press Corps: Does the president have ‘senioritis’?

A White House reporter asked Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest Tuesday whether President Obama had “senioritis,” the term for indifferent seniors in college or high school going through the motions before graduation.

Pointing out the president was making his “second off-campus outing in as many days,” the reporter posed the query.

“I think the president thought it was a beautiful day to go out to lunch,” Earnest said, before the reporter pointed out it was raining outside.

“You have heard the president talk a lot himself about his own desire to try to break outside of the White House bubble, to get off the 18 acres that make up the White House complex and the president has been looking for opportunities to do that recently,” Earnest said. “There’s no doubt about that … He was pleased to have a chance to get outside of the bubble a little bit and to shake some hands and to visit with some folks.”

Full exchange:

Q: And a different topic entirely. The president made his second off-campus outing in as many days today. What’s going on? Does he have senioritis, as some have suggested?

JOSH EARNEST: I think the president thought it was a beautiful day to go out to lunch –

Q: It’s raining. (Laughter.)

EARNEST: — and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Q: And, you know, joking aside, is it your sense that people will pay more attention to the president when he does off-campus things like this?

EARNEST: Well, I think — I think people pay a lot of attention to what the president does. I don’t think the president is going to lunch with the secretary of education to seek attention. I think he’s going out to lunch with the secretary of education to seek a nice meal.

You know, you have heard the president talk a lot himself about his own desire to try to break outside of the White House bubble, to get off the 18 acres that make up the White House complex and the president has been looking for opportunities to do that recently. There’s no doubt about that. He traveled to a Little League baseball game in northwest Washington, where he stopped off on the way to a political event. The president also recently walked over to the Department of Interior when he had a public event over there and he had the opportunity to greet some tourists who happened to be in town.

These were events that the president genuinely enjoyed. He was pleased to have a chance to get outside of the bubble a little bit and to shake some hands and to visit with some folks.

And that’s something that he enjoys doing. It’s something that he — it’s one of the things that he enjoyed a lot about the campaign, both his first campaign for president but also his re-election campaign is it afforded him the opportunity to spend a lot of time with, you know, outside of the gates of the White House.

Published with permission from Washington Free Beacon.

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