President Obama on Monday offered up some candid thoughts on last week's election, as well as some measured analysis of President-elect Donald Trump. While Obama generally maintained a cordial tone toward his successor, crediting Trump for "successfully [mobilizing] a big chunk of the country" and saying that he believes Trump's desire to do well as commander in chief is "sincere," the president did address the lingering question of Trump's temperament — particularly in the wake of his appointment of controversial former Breitbart News boss Steven Bannon as chief strategist.
"I don't think he is ideological," Obama said of Trump. "I think ultimately he is pragmatic. That can serve him well." While Obama declined to comment on Bannon's appointment directly, he did say Trump may need to address "certain elements of his temperament that will not serve him well" as the nation's chief executive:
Obama did say he believes Trump understands the difference between campaigning and governing — but he also suggested his successor will likely discover the Oval Office brings with it a dose of reality he may be unprepared for, as Bloomberg Politics reporter Jennifer Epstein recounts below. Kimberly Alters