Who says a interview with the Commander in Chief has to be about politics and The White House? In a interview with HBO’s sports columnist, Bill Simmons, the 54-year-old Leader of the Free World, discusses what he has learned throughout his presidency, who he takes calls from when he is out to dinner with the First Lady and how he would feel if he had to run against Donald Trump. The commander in chief also explains what will be missed most after his presidency is over [2016 will be Obama’s final year in office.]
The interview included asking some deep-rooted and humorous questions to the President. Based off the quotes below, can you tell which discussion was humorous and which one was powerful?
Check out some excerpts below:
- His response when asked if he could tell himself one thing back in 2008 [the year Obama was elected President] – what would it be:
“You’re going to be busy.” Coming in, we were going through an unprecedented economic upheaval, combined with an upheaval in the Middle East that we hadn’t seen in our lifetimes. There was going to be a huge amount of disruption. I would probably tell myself to communicate more effectively early on than I did. We ran a great campaign. It wasn’t as great as it seems in retrospect—there’s always rose-colored glasses but there’s no doubt that we captured the country’s imagination. And somehow in those first two years, I think a certain arrogance crept in, in the sense of thinking as long as we get the policy ready, we didn’t have to sell it.
2. His response when asked was there a point during his first three years where he started to feel overwhelmed:
I had a pretty good handle. One thing I learned during the campaign was that I’ve got a good temperament. I don’t get too high and I don’t get too low. I’m able to stay focused even when there’s a lot of stuff going on around me.
3. His response when asked what was the most entertaining conspiracy theory he has ever read about himself:
That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer. Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.
4. His response when asked about campaigning with Donald Trump:
I would’ve enjoyed campaigning against Trump. That would’ve been fun.
5. His response when asked what he will miss after his presidency is over:
So the clear answer would be Air Force One: an amazing plane with an amazing crew, they clear out airspace so you don’t have to wait. And you land anytime, you leave anytime. But it may be Marine One, because even post presidency, I may be able to round up a private plane sometime, but it’s tough not to have your helicopter waiting for you.
6. You’re out to dinner with your wife and the phone rings. How many of the people in your life are you like, “Uh-oh, I’ve got to take this”?
Malia and Sasha. [laughs] And maybe my mother-in-law. My national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Denis McDonough, my chief of staff. Those are the only people whose call I would take during a date night with Michelle. But the entire White House is full of people who have enormous responsibilities. You can’t do this by yourself. The principle of team building in the White House is really no different than the principle of team building anywhere, on a sports team or a well-run business. Do they put team ahead of themselves? Do you make sure all the pieces fit together? Because just having the best athletes, if they’re knocking heads and nobody’s doing rebounding and everybody wants the ball, it isn’t always going to work.
Read the interview in full HERE. Seriously, this is a really good interview that includes Obama’s serious and funny side. A great balance.
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