Outgoing aide predicts more 'assertive' Obama in second term

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“I think you’ll see more of his flexing his authority to use executive action, to take executive action in areas so he can do everything he can,” she said.

DeParle's exit comes at a time when the Obama administration is being criticized for a string of white, male appointments to high-level positions. On Wednesday, the White House posted a picture to its social media networks featuring DeParle, among other female staffers, as an apparent rebuttal to a New York Times report commenting on the "all-male look" of the president's inner circle.

In her interview with Reuters, DeParle flatly rejected criticism that the president had not been diverse enough in his hiring.

"I've never experienced that from the president. I‘ve always felt that he is surrounded by strong women," she said.

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