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Obama agenda: From rivals to friends

President Obama and Hillary Clinton sat down for a joint interview on 60 Minutes from the White House, as Clinton exits as secretary of state. “The president's high praise will no doubt stoke speculation about Clinton's own chances to succeed Obama in 2016,” NBC’s Michael O’Brien writes. “Many Democrats hope that Clinton, a former rival of Obama's during the 2008 primary, will seek the nomination; the outgoing secretary of state leaves office at the height of her popularity.”

Clinton, though, clearly left the door open to a 2016 run: “I think that, you know, look, obviously the president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future. And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year,” Clinton said, responding to a question about her political future.

The AP: “President Barack Obama lauded Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of his closest advisers and said their shared vision for America’s role in the world persuaded his one-time rival — and potential successor — to be his top diplomat while he dealt with the shattered economy at home.” More: “Both Obama and Clinton batted away questions about future campaigns, but the joint interview — the president’s first with anyone other than first lady Michelle Obama — was only likely to increase the fascination with Clinton’s future.”

Today, “President Barack Obama will meet with police chiefs from three communities that have experienced mass shootings, part of his administration’s push to address gun violence,” the AP adds. “Obama is drawing attention to the worst shootings of 2012, inviting the police chiefs from: Aurora, Colo., where 12 were killed in July; Oak Creek, Wis., where six died in a Sikh temple assault: and Newtown, Conn., scene of the most recent mass tragedy that left 20 first-graders dead.”

The New Republic does a Q and A with Obama. Asked if he’d ever fired a gun, Obama said: “Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”

He also said this about whether he’d let a son play football due to the recent news about concussions: “I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.”

About whether the Republican “fever” has broken. “Not yet, obviously,” Obama said. “I never expected that it would happen overnight. I think it will be a process. And the Republican Party is undergoing a still-early effort at reexamining what their agenda is and what they care about. I think there is still shock on the part of some in the party that I won reelection. There's been a little bit of self-examination among some in the party, but that hasn't gone to the party as a whole yet.”

Obama also floated making reforms to Medicare: “If we can get through this first period and arrive at a sensible package that reduces our deficits, stabilizes our debts, and involves smart reforms to Medicare and judicious spending cuts with some increased revenues and maybe tax reform, and you can get a package together that doesn't satisfy either Democrats or Republicans entirely, but puts us on a growth trajectory because it leaves enough spending on education, research and development, and infrastructure to boost growth now, but also deals with our long-term challenges on health care costs, then you can imagine the Republicans saying to themselves, ‘OK, we need to get on the side of the American majority on issues like immigration. We need to make progress on rebuilding our roads and bridges.’”

He also said this: “I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.”