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Obama Can’t Stop Speechifying As President Trump Signs First Bill, Forcing TV Networks To Make Choices

Deadline logo Deadline 1/20/2017 Lisa de Moraes
© Provided by Deadline

“Michelle and I, we really have been milking this goodbye thing,” former President Barack Obama said, accurately, today as he began to give yet another speech, not long after President Donald Trumpdelivered his Inaugural Address.

“So it behooves me to be brief,” he told staff and supporters at Joint Base Andrews, as cable news networks attempted to cover Obama while simultaneously covering Trump as he began signing orders immediately after leaving the site of his swearing in. Obama’s speech seemed to catch TV news operations flat-footed, which is understandable, already having covered what he promised would be his swan-song address in Chicago last week.

“When we started on this journey, we did so with an abiding faith in the American people and our ability to join together and change the country in ways that would make life better for our kids and grandkids,” Obama began, as news divisions tried to split the baby.

“You proved the power of hope, and throughout this process, Michelle and I have just been your front man and woman. We have been the face, and sometimes the voice, out front on the TV screens and in front of the microphones,” Obama continued as Trump signed his first bill into law, making it possible for Ret. Gen. James Mattis to serve as Defense secretary. Congress passed the bill that waives the legal requirement that the position be filled by someone who has been out of the military for at least seven years; Mattis has been out about two years. Trump signed a slew of other documents, including formal nominations for his Cabinet picks, as congressional leaders from both parties surrounding him bartered among themselves for the pens with which he signed the various documents.

The Trump drama won out, and news networks eventually broke away from Obama midspeech.

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