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Behind the cameras, White House staffers cried as Obama addressed the nation
A White House staff member weeps in the Rose Garden. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The words in the Rose Garden were President Obama’s first public remarks since the election — and some of his last before the transition to the Trump administration begins.

Obama encouraged Americans who were disappointed the results of Tuesday’s history election to “keep their heads up.”

His words were directed at the cameras and the millions of Americans watching; but they were also heard by more than 100 White House staffers gathered behind the press.

From the White House pool report:

At least 150 WH staffers came out to hear Obama speak. They lined up in the garden behind the press, listening intently. When he was done, they applauded for a solid minute, at least. Your pooler saw three staffers crying, and many others with closed eyes or staring up at the sky.

The mood here is somber and quiet. Your pooler asked one aide in tears what was going through her mind; she said “I’m just sad,” before walking away. When it was suggested to another aide that today was bittersweet, the aide replied, “I don’t know about sweet.”

White House staffers console one another after President Obama’s remarks Wednesday. (Michael Reynolds/EPA)
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