At Press Conference, Obama Reflects on His 'Best Week'

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Was last week President Obama's best week ever?

That's the crux of a question the president took on on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. His answer started out a little cheesy.

"My best week, I will tell you, was marrying Michelle," the president said. "That was a really good week. Malia and Sasha being born, excellent weeks. There was a game where I scored 27 points. That was a pretty good week. I've had some good weeks in my life, I will tell you."

But the president did acknowledge that last week was "gratifying."

A recap of Obama's "best week ever": Congress gave him the authority to negotiate trade deals he had spent weeks rallying support for in both parties. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act and then in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. He received extensive praise for his eulogy at an emotional funeral for one of the Charleston church shooting victims. Obama's winning streak ended Monday when the Court ruled against Environmental Protection Agency regulations to limit air pollutants from power plants, but the president had an impressive run.

Obama spoke specifically about the White House's celebration Friday after the marriage ruling: lighting the president's residence in rainbow colors. To see people gathered outside the executive mansion that night, Obama said, to see them "feel whole, and to feel accepted, and to feel that they had a right to love? That was cool. That was a good thing."

"In many ways," Obama said, "last week was the culmination of a lot of work we've been doing since I came into office." When asked what he would do with any refreshed political capital he may have gained, the president pointed to some potential priorities: the overtime pay rules he's set to announce, bipartisan work on building up America's infrastructure, bipartisan work on criminal-justice reform, and more work on job-training packages.

"I might see if we can make next week even better," he said.

There's one thing that could potentially get in the way of that, however.

Greece is rapidly running out of money and threatening an economic crisis in Europe. But the economic results of the devastating default will not be seriously felt by Americans, Obama said Tuesday.

The president said the financial crisis is "of substantial concern" and ultimately "of concern to Europe."

"Essentially what you have here is a country that has gone through some very difficult economic times, needs to find a path towards growth and a path to stay in the eurozone," he said. "And what we've been encouraging both the Greek government and our European partners to do is to continue to negotiate and find a pathway towards a resolution."

What happens next will not shake the economic situation in the United States, he said.

"In layman terms for the American people, this is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system," Obama said. "But obviously it's very painful for the Greek people. And it can have a significant effect on growth rates in Europe. And if Europe's not growing the way it needs to grow, it has an impact on us, it has an impact on Brazil. ... It can have a dampening effect on the entire world economy."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec