Rep. Mel Watt will start as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in 13 days.Â Yesterday in Charlotte, he held a farewell press conference and discussed his 21 years in Congress.Â Rick Rothacker of the Charlotte Observer reported that:
â€¢Â On partisanship: â€œItâ€™s getting worse. In the House starting in 1995 with the (Newt) Gingrich revolution it has been going downhill ever since. There is no listening to the perspectives of other people. Thatâ€™s what my confirmation was about. I said, â€˜Why are we having this conversation?â€™ Because a Democratic president nominated me, the Republicans are going to say we donâ€™t like that guy.â€
â€¢Â On the challenge of Obama as a black president: â€œItâ€™s difficult being president of the United States. Itâ€™s more difficult being a black president of the United States. Thatâ€™s probably the bottom line.â€
â€¢Â On the shape of his elongated district: â€œIt doesnâ€™t need to be as gerrymandered as much much as it is. And Iâ€™ve been on the record expressing myself vigorously on that because in an approximate 40 percent African-American district I was getting 65 percent of the vote.â€Â Read more here.