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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 57

Barbara Walters interviewed the president on November 23 for broadcast on November 26. His emphasis shifted through the interview. At one point, he portrayed himself as a multitasker:

BARBARA WALTERS: Mr. President, there are some folks who say that you squandered your political capital with the healthcare plan when you should have been focusing on jobs.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This notion that somehow you can only do one thing at once is simply not true. I mean, the fact is is that we stabilized the financial system…we turned an economy that was contracting to one that was growing. We have added a million jobs over the last year to the economy. And I am absolutely confident that when we fully implemented healthcare, and we started to see those costs go down and we have seen people who don't have health insurance get health insurance, and we have seen families who have health insurance more secure and they are not being jerked around by arbitrary rules from their insurance companies, that that's gonna be a lasting legacy that I am extraordinarily proud of. And there is no contradiction between that and improving our economy.

But at another point, he said the first two years were all about a focus on the economy:

BARBARA WALTERS: Because you took what you called a shellacking, will you make specific changes in your policies…


BARBARA WALTERS: …or your personal, your personality I guess is what I am getting at. What were the changes?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: First of all, I think that -- no matter what happened in the election -- the first two years were all about saving the economy from a crisis, and we have done that. The economy has now stabilized. …We have gotten the economy to grow again, our focus now has to be on issues like education, issues like investing in research and development, issues like infrastructure development…. So my hope is is that new Republican leadership -- those who are coming in -- that they welcome the opportunity to work together…with me and other Democrats…to focus on solving the country's problems instead of focusing on politics. And, and I am confident that we are gonna be able to do that.