PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — President Obama welcomed 16 newly-elected mayors to the White House Friday afternoon, including Pittsburgh’s new mayor, Bill Peduto.
“Mayors don’t have time to be ideological,” the President told them around a table in the Roosevelt Room, “and they don’t really have time to be partisan, because they, every day, are held accountable for concretely delivering the services that people count on all across the country.”
Following the session, Mayor-elect Bill DeBlasio of New York led his colleagues outside the White House, but Peduto had already bolted to catch a plane to New York for the annual Pennsylvania Society soiree at the Waldorf Astoria.
DeBlasio summed up the mayors’ reaction to the president.
“His concern about what we’re facing, his understanding about what we’re facing was quite clear, quite sharp,” said the New York Democrat.
“He was quick to make clear how much he wanted to help us as we go through our transitions and help our cities as the leading edge of our national economy,” he added.
The afternoon session included meetings with top federal officials who, as Boston’s new mayor observed, can make a difference in urban areas.
“A lot of the challenges that each of our cities face the federal government can help us, and a lot of us were surprised to see actually the interaction between the federal government and our local areas,” noted Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, a Boston Democrat.
The President joked with the mayors he won’t be the only president they deal with, saying many of them will hold office for twenty years.
“I think it’s for that reason that when we think about mayors, we think about folks who actually get stuff done,” observed the President.