Valerie Jarrett: 'You're Going to See the President Traveling Around the Country More'
(CNSNews.com) - After two years of frequent flying and constant campaigning that took him all around the country, President Obama isn't finished:
"You're going to see the president traveling around the country more," Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday, Inauguration Day.
Host Joe Scarborough asked Jarrett how President Obama plans to avoid the difficulties that have beset other presidents in their second terms.
"Well," replied Jarrett, "you have to stay focused, and you have to develop an agenda that reflects the priorities of the American people. I think the president has done that. And you have to engage the American people in the process.
"One of the lessons that we learned in the first term is that the president can't do this alone. He can't work with Congress alone and expect that they're going to put their short-term political interests ahead of the American people. But if we have the American people behind us, then there are no limits to what we can do.
"So you're going to see the president traveling around the country more. We're going to have many more opportunities here at the White House to bring people in and inform them and communicate and engage with them about our agenda. And if we have that, then we're confident that he can have a very robust second-term agenda, and it will get done."
CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who frequently travels with the president, has compiled the following numbers from Obama's first four years in office: He says Obama took 245 domestic trips spanning 417 days to 44 states, not including local trips in the D.C. area.
As CNSNews.com has reported, many of Obama's campaign trips were taken under the guise of official business, which means that taxpayers picked up the travel tab.
Last April, the Republican National Committee filed a complaint with the U.S. Comptroller General: "Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as 'official events,' thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts," said the complaint filed on behalf of American taxpayers.
On Monday, Jarrett told "Morning Joe" that the president is "as energized as I have ever seen him."
"He learned a lot in the first term," she said. "I think his confidence has grown. We were reflecting back the other day just by how little you know until you're actually here. And now, with a four-year track record, I think he really has the wind at his back."