This is a more detailed account of the final words of President Obama’s conversation with “The View” hosts.
Can you win as President?
Whoopi Goldberg asked him, “Can you win as president?” after she pointed out that people have said he’s been too slow in some regards (BP) and too fast in others (Shirley Sharrard), that he hasn’t explained himself and that no one understands. Joy Behar found comedic opportunity to chide in at this point quickly asking, “Or, on you on Zoloft?” His reply,”When I look back over these last 20 months they have been as challenging and as satisfying as any in my life. I will be able to say people can get health insurance even with pre-existing conditions; tobacco companies can’t market to kids; [we’ve got a] credit card law to make sure you don’t have hidden fees; the toughest financial regulatory reform law since the Great Depression and we’ll be able to enforce these laws so there are no more tax payer bailouts; we saved an economy from a Great Depression; and …we have created, I think, a whole range of reforms on education that will pay off in the next ten years, more kids going to college, more kids are studying math, more kids are studying science.” Then, there was an interjectory question from Elizabeth Hasselbeck asking whether they’d have jobs.
Will the graduates have jobs?
President Obama said, “They’ll make them. When our kids are doing well in school, when we’ve got the best trained workforce, when they are innovating and creating jobs through small businesses that’s when America succeeds and so I feel very optimistic and and I do think that the reason I may seem calm all the time…even if we’re going through… turbulence, is that I try to take the long view. I try to say that if I wake up today and I know I’m doing a good job somewhere down the road that’s going to pay off and people will look back and say, ‘You know what? He made that decision based on what’s best for the country instead of short-term politics.’ I think that’s the best way to govern.”
What would you like your legacy to be?
When Barbara Walters asked him what he’d like his legacy to be he replied, “I’d like people to look back and think this was a time when we tackled problems we’ve been putting off for too long–healthcare, …education, we need an energy policy, …environment… . As I’ve said before, I’m so optimistic about America because I’m optimistic about the American people…everytime I travel, every time I get out of Washington…and I sit down and talk to folks, they’re generous,… strong,… resilient, full of imagination, full of drive and full of pluck. There’s no reason why America … shouldn’t continue to be the greatest country on earth for decades and centuries to come. But,we just have to remind ourselves of what makes us great. And hopefully, I’ll be able to help lead the country through this difficult time so that we can continue on this extraordinary journey that we’ve been on.” (They thanked him and ended the interview.)