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Obama: Cities 'a Bellwether' For Nation's Fortunes

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US President Barack Obama speaks to the US Conference of Mayors on January 23, 2015 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ImagesMANDEL NGAN / AFP - Getty Images

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President Barack Obama said American cities are “a bellwether” for the health of the country and pledged to support the more than 200 mayors who visited the White House on Friday.

“If cities are successful, than America is going to be successful,” Obama told the U.S. Conference of Mayors at their annual Winter Meeting.

The president said mayors “can’t afford to be ideological,” and instead must focus on getting results for the residents of their cities. It’s a notable difference from the politics that goes on in Washington, Obama said.

“You don’t have the luxury of just yacking instead of doing,” he said.

Obama was introduced by by Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson, who called the president “the point guard of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

--Andrew Rafferty

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