His appearance on 60 Minutes tonight, from an interview filmed on Thursday (previews had already been circulating around the web), was filled with the kind of humility one expects from the guy who is in the odd position of being the most powerful man in the world for at least two more years while dealing with the fact that everyone thinks he’s a giant political loser.
He spent a lot of time during the interview defending TARP and the auto bailouts, describing them as “emergency measures.” But the more interesting parts came in his discussion of the backlash to health-care reform, which cost some Democratic representatives their jobs.
“I made the decision to go ahead and do it, and it proved as costly politically as we expected — probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically,” he said, before admitting that the Republican strategy to avoid cooperation didn’t necessarily hurt them. “And that was costly, partly because it created the kind of partisanship and bickering that really turn people off.”
Then, he admitted that fixing the world’s largest economy as it sits basically stagnant is sometimes a confusing process. “I do get discouraged. I mean, there are times where I thought the economy would had gotten better by now,” he said. “But you don’t always have control of everything, especially an economy this big.”
“Don’t always have control of everything” is probably code for “there’s no way I would have gotten 60 senators to vote for the second stimulus I think this country probably needs.” Gridlock: bringing out the defensiveness in all of us.
Transcript: Barack Obama, Part 1 [CBS News]
Transcript: Barack Obama, Part 2 [CBS News]