And...they're back: The Obamas return from Hawaii, looking vaguely unhappy 

Can you blame them? Two weeks in Hawaii sounds pretty great right now. On the AF1 flight back to DC, President Obama had a rare little chat with the travel pool. Reporters on presidential vacation duty saw very little of the POTUS out on Oahu.

Q: A serious question: Are you concerned you're going to get a chilly reception in Washington? Republicans, on Sunday, were talking about the first thing they’re going to do is repeal health care. They’re talking about asking you to get rid of Eric Holder, the Attorney General. It sounds like a relatively chilly reception awaiting you.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, I think that there’s going to be politics. That's what happens in Washington. They are going to play to their base for a certain period of time. But I'm pretty confident that they’re going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people and that were creating a competitive economy for the 21st century; not just for this generation but the next one. 

And so my expectation, my hope is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012, and that our job this year is to make sure that we build on the recovery.  We started to make good progress on that during the lame duck, and I expect to build on that progress when I get back. 

Oh, "politics," that old bugaboo. Former President George W. Bush used to say things very similar -- along the lines of 'we'll have some politics' then get back down to business. As if people who disagree are just 'playing politics,' to coin a phrase. The key is to know the difference -- when is it politics and when is it a legitimate political difference? Does it matter?

We are waxing all philosophical today because Obama has nothing scheduled other than a bill signing. It's on food safety, for those following along at home.


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