I saw this yesterday and was astounded by the question finally being asked in the White House press room.
Knoller: When he (Obama) says he wants to work on the people’s business, which people is he talking about -- the people that elected Rand Paul and Marco Rubio or the people that reelected Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?
MR. GIBBS: Well, what they have in common is they’re Americans.
Knoller: That’s about it. (Laughter.) Well, I mean, they have irreconcilable differences, don’t they?
MR. GIBBS: You know, the President spent a lot of time traveling around the country, and I think he always said that there were -- we tend to put people in boxes and all that sort of stuff on television and everybody disagrees on this and everybody disagrees on that.
I think that -- I haven’t been in a room with those leaders, per se, but I bet if people listen long enough they’d find things that they agree on. They’d find things that they could work on.
Is everybody’s -- is the solution that everybody brings to the beginning of that meeting going to be what we all walk out with? Probably not. It’s going to take some give-and-take on each side. That’s the way we’re likely to make progress.
I don’t -- again, I don’t think there’s anything in this country that would have you believe that the message that people took away from this campaign was gridlock, more arguing, more bickering, more partisan, more not working together -- I don’t -- people ran against the way this town works. And to go back to the way it’s always operated would be the wrong message.
Knoller: On the Republican side, it seems they ran against give-and-take, compromise. They don’t want gridlock, either. They want you to surrender.
MR. GIBBS: And wasn’t that largely the message -- wasn’t that what they said drove them to run for office because somehow that happened on the other side? Again, I think that’s an incongruence that is maybe a subtlety that’s lost during the back-and-forth of a political campaign. But you don’t make progress -- and you’re certainly not going to make progress in a divided government saying, my way or the highway. You’re going to end up with a lot more of what drove people away from having faith in both parties and in their government.
And I don’t think that’s what the American people want to see. I don’t think they want to see an endless recitation of last week’s battles, because we have problems that we haven’t faced and that we haven’t dealt with and that we know if we don’t are going to put us at a competitive economic advantage [sic] as it relates to the rest of the world. And I know that’s not what -- the President doesn’t want to see that, and I think you have a good number of Republicans that believe that, too, Mark.
Uh, huh. Forget Gibbs' talking around the subject, Knoller has put his finger on the $64 million question. Are we one country or two?
I think we'll find out shortly.