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Back to the White House

See a photo of the First Family's return to the White House from Hawaii and read the President's remarks on his expectations for Congress.

This morning the First Family returned to the White House from Hawaii:

President Obama and the First Family Return from Hawaii to Begin 2011

President Barack Obama waves as he, First Lady Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, arrive on the South Lawn of the White House on Marine One, January 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

On the flight back the President spoke briefly with reporters, exchanging a few pleasantries and discussing his shaved ice preferences ("I'm a plain shaved ice guy.  No beans, no ice cream, no sweet milk on top").  But the President also addressed what he expects to see in Congress in the weeks ahead:

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.