Washington: US President Barack Obama has
invited South Carolina Governor-elect Indian-American Nikki
Haley and other newly elected governors to the White House,
saying it would be a terrific opportunity to hear from them.
Obama also invited eight Congressional leaders from
both Republican and Democratic parties.
The first of these meetings would be held on November
18, after his return from Asia. Haley and other Governor-
elects have been invited to the White House on December 2.
After a Cabinet meeting, Obama told reporters that he
wants a "better working relationship" between the White House
and incoming congressional leadership.
"We can`t afford two years of just squabbling."
Obama said he thinks it`s a terrific opportunity to
hear from them, folks who are working at the state and local
levels, about what they`re seeing, what ideas they think
Washington needs to be paying more attention to.
"A lot of times, things are a little less ideological
when, you know, you get governors together, because they`ve
got very practical problems that they`ve got to solve in terms
of, you know, how do they make sure that roads and bridges are
funded, and how do they make sure that schools stay open and
teachers stay on the job," he said.
"You know, that kind of nuts-and-bolts stuff I think
oftentimes yields the kind of commonsense approach that the
American people I think are looking for right now. So in sum,
we`ve got a lot of work to do. People are still catching their
breath from the election. The dust is still settling," he
Obama said it is clear that the voters sent a message,
which is they want the leaders to focus on the economy and
jobs and moving this country forward.
"They`re concerned about making sure that taxpayer
money is not wasted, and they want a change of tone here in
Washington where the two parties are coming together and
focusing on the people`s business as opposed to scoring
political points," he said.
Referring to his cabinet meeting, Obama said he told
them and his staff that they have to take that message to
heart and make a sincere and consistent effort to try to
change how Washington operates.
"The folks around this table have done extraordinary
work in their agencies. They have cooperated consistently with
Congress. I think they are interested in bipartisan ideas. And
so they are going to be integral in helping me to root out
waste in government, make our agencies more efficient and
generate more ideas so that we can put the American people
back to work," he said.
"Now, at the same time, obviously what`s going to be
critically important over the coming months is creating a
better working relationship between this White House and the
congressional leadership that`s coming in, as well as the
congressional leadership that carries over from the previous
Congress," he said.