EXECUTIVE

Last question for Obama as POTUS goes to reporter from his Illinois days

President addresses decision to commute sentence, possibility of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being extradited

 

The last press conference question of President Obama’s presidency went to a reporter from his Illinois days.

Obama specifically sought out Christi Parsons, who covered Obama when he was starting his political career as an Illinois state legislator, as he closed out Wednesday's White House press conference. 

“I’ve been knowing her since Springfield, Illinois, when I was a state senator and she listened to what I had to say then,” Obama said, calling on Parsons in the back rows of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. “So the least I can do is give her the last question, as president of the United States.”

Parsons, who covered Obama in Illinois for the Chicago Tribune, asked Obama about how his family, particularly his two daughters, felt about fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton losing the presidential election after first lady Michelle Obama so personally championed key Clinton issues like minority, LGBT and women's rights.

“They just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up,” responded Obama, who leaves office Friday.

“But they were disappointed. They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it was consistent with what we’ve said in the household. … But what we’ve also tried to teach them is resilience. And we’ve tried to teach them hope. … That tended to be their attitude.”

Parsons, who came to Washington in 2008 to cover the Obama White House for Tribune sister paper The Los Angeles Times, also thanked the president and said covering him “has been an honor.”