President Barack Obama on The View
Do you think the President should have appeared on the talk show?
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
We kicked off this (previously recorded) episode of The View with the return of Barbara Walters, who has spent the past several weeks recovering from heart surgery. She’s looking fabulous!
“I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched,” Obama joked with the hosts when Walters asked why he chose to appear on The View. He is the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show. As I watched him address a series of questions about everything from his presidency to his daughters Sasha and Malia, I wondered if this appearance was a good idea.
On the Rose and the Thorn:
Walters asked President Obama to describe the “rose and the thorn” of this past month. Obama said his “rose” was an outdoorsy vacation with his daughters, who are at an age where they “still like him.” As for the thorn?
“The country’s been through a tough stretch since I took office,” he said. “The truth is it’s not tough for me… you think of what the American people go through… those are the folks I draw inspiration from… I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about me, I spend a lot of time worrying about them.”
Not much of a reply, eh? Walters pressed on, and coaxed an answer out of him. Obama said signing letters to the families of fallen soldiers keeps everything else in perspective. Quite a deflection! In Obama’s defense, there was no winning on this question. I’m guessing he feels like he’s living in the tough end of a rose bush right now.
On the Economy:
“We are in a state of chronic joblessness, yet you are claiming you have saved jobs,” Elisabeth Hasselbeck said. “How can you claim you are saving jobs when we are losing jobs?”
“We are now bouncing back, but we are not bouncing back as quickly as we need to,” Obama said, adding that we’ve gained some private sector jobs. He explained that he remains optimistic about America’s recovery. “We still have the best workers in the world, the best technology in the world, the best universities in the world.”
On the Wars:
“We are ending combat operations in Iraq this month,” Obama said. “In Afghanistan, we’ve still got a lot of work to do… that is still the epicenter of terrorism targeting the United States.” He also said that he plans to start “thinning out troops” in Afghanistan by July 2011.
Lighting Rod Questions With Joy Behar
Of course, this isn’t exactly 60 Minutes, so comedienne Joy Behar took a few minutes to lighten the mood.
“Did you know that Lindsay Lohan is in jail?” Behar asked, along with questions about Mel Gibson and Snooki. He knows all about Lindsay, he hasn’t listened to the Mel Gibson tapes and he said he doesn’t know who Snooki is (though he mentioned her at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in May – oops!).
He said he listens to Jay-Z (but not Justin Bieber!) on his iPod, and said he was not invited to Chelsea Clinton‘s wedding, because it would be too much trouble to have two presidents at a wedding (he assumes).
In case you were wondering, boys have not entered the picture for the First Daughters, though the girls are available for your babysitting needs.
On His Legacy:
He had to know this was coming! Walters asked the president what he hoped his legacy would be – a tough question to answer, especially in such uncertain times.
“I’d like the American people to look back and say, ‘This is a time when we tackled problems we’ve put off for too long,’” Obama said, citing healthcare, energy policy and financial reforms as examples. “We just have to remind ourselves of what makes us great, and hopefully I’ll be able to lead this country through this very difficult time.”