- The Washington Times - Friday, February 12, 2016

President Obama is crediting talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres with changing “hearts and minds” about gays.

On her show airing Friday, Ms. DeGeneres begins by thanking Mr. Obama “for what you have done for the gay community.” The president said promoting gay rights “is one of the things I’m proudest of,” and then praised his host.

“Changing hearts and minds, I don’t think anyone has been more influential than you,” he told her. “You being willing to claim who you were, [it] suddenly empowers other people. The law has followed, but it started with folks like you.”

She then deadpanned, “I’m not really gay. I just thought it would work, and I’ve had to stick with it because people responded well.”

Also during the show, Ms. DeGeneres asked the president what surprised him most when he took office.

“Most of the time, if something reaches my desk, it means it’s really hard, which is why they bumped it up to me, because nobody else could figure it out,” Mr. Obama said, mentioning actions such as the bailout of the auto industry. “You’re having to make big bets with incomplete information, and you’re not sure it’s really going to work.”

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