Senior Obama Adviser Dan Pfeiffer: White House Sometimes "Too Insular"
AL HUNT, BLOOMBERG: You have got a very experienced and loyal team - youâ€™ve mentioned some of them - at the White House. And youâ€™ve brought in certainly interesting cabinet members. There are some Democrats - not just Republicans, some Democrats - who worry that itâ€™s too insular. Youâ€™ve heard this complaint, that they wish there was some - an infusion of some fresh blood, not replacing people, but just bringing in more new thinking of this. What do you say to that complaint?
DAN PFEIFFER, OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I think itâ€™s going to be incumbent upon those of us who are in the White House, those of us who work for the president, to be - do the best job we can to reach out to get outside voices in, whether theyâ€™re meeting with the president, whether weâ€™re calling them for advice. You know, weâ€™ve heard the criticism that weâ€™re too insular, and Iâ€™m sure sometimes thatâ€™s right. But itâ€™s not because we donâ€™t respect the advice of other people and we donâ€™t want to hear what they have to say. Itâ€™s just sometimes in the White House youâ€™re just trying to get through the five minutes in front of you and you donâ€™t have time to reach out to folks.
So we have - weâ€™ve done - weâ€™ve tried to bring folks in to meet with us, people with experience in both parties and different administrations, different parts of government, to give us some advice on how we go about enacting the presidentâ€™s agenda and helping the country. Weâ€™re going to continue to do that. I know thatâ€™s going to be a big priority of Denis McDonoughâ€™s when he assumes the chief of staff role next week.
HUNT: Dan, second terms are always different than first terms. Thatâ€™s a rather obvious statement. But whatâ€™s the - whatâ€™s the main difference you see in how you think you all will govern over the next four years versus the past four years?
PFEIFFER: Well, I think weâ€™re going to try to - I think we view the second term as an extension of the first term. The President Obama that folks - America sees this month is not different from the one they saw last month.
I do - we are aware of the fact that time is limited, you know, and the president said to us, this is the best opportunity weâ€™ll have to do the most good for the most people in our lives over the next four years. And so we want to take it - he wants to take every one of those days and use it to make sure we get everything out of it, because weâ€™ll - there will - thereâ€™s lots of things you can get more of. You canâ€™t get more of time. (Political Capital with Al Hunt, February 2, 2013)