tv Obama Revealed Man CNN November 3, 2012 9:30pm-11:00pm PDT
>> a candidate of hope. we have chosen hope over fear. inherits a nation in crisis. >> the briefing was chilling. >> my first job was making sure we were not going get into a great depression. >> a leader driven to change history. >> he just doesn't want to be another president. he wanted to be a great president. cool under pressure. >> it was a huge risk that the president took. >> the united states killed bin laden. >> his presidency marked by political division. speaker boehner, he said you flinched. >> i'm sure that is his version of events. i think the biggest failure is the president's unwillingness to listen to the american people. >> a man whose style would both
help him and hurt him as a leader. >> when i'm making decisions, i try to not get caught up in the emotions of the moment. obama revealed, the man, the president. >> i can't wait to tell my children about it. >> it was an historic moment. >> i do swear, to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god? >> so help me god. >> congratulations mr. president. >> a new day with great expectations. >> he said it's been a big ride and i said yes, and he said it's just beginning.
>> on this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear. unity of purpose over conflict and discord. >> for many, barack obama and his presidency symbolized more than political change. obama! obama! obama! obama! >> i'm proud, for the sons and daughters of slaves, their offspring, for people who built the capitol, it means so much to every human being that live in the country. >> god bless the united states of america. hope is what led me here today. >> candidate obama ran on a message of hope and change. >> it's not just the size of the
crowd's but there's something different. people come and wait for hours for him. sometimes they start crying when he talks. >> barack obama! >> i need you to stand up. >> we want change! >> we want change! >> do you think people saw in him what they wanted to? >> there was projection on to him, perhaps more than anybody could ever live up to. >> the country needed help and in a hurry. >> today we learned that our economy shrank in the last three months of 2008, and that's the worst contraction of three decades. >> rahm emanuel would be the president's chief of staff. >> slightly like rolling thunder, because you have to take in the economics and afghanistan and financial and iraq. usually when you have a series of things, it's like this is an
a and b and what happens when all five are as. >> it was basically awful. >> in the months leading up to inauguration, his adviserer watched in horror as the stock market dropped for than 500 points in a day. >> it was a bottle of bourbon sitting there in the campaign and it had been there for a year and a half, and i said if ever there was a day to have a drink of the emergency bourbon, it's the day. >> and then it got worse. >> the next day, dropped another 500 points and then late in the campaign, it happens again. and some of said, where is the bourbon and i said the bottle is empty. >> the emergency bourbon was gone and the economy was in dire shape. one month before his inauguration, barack obama called engine urgent meeting during a snow tomorrow. >> he meets for the first time
with all of his economic advisers as a group for four hours. everyone in the room is struck with the gravity of the situation. >> i said mr. president, this is your holy bleep moment, you are facing the worst downturn since the great depression and we will have to hit it with everything that we have. >> the president was very clear, we need to act, we need to make our mistakes on the side of pulling the band-aid off fast. that was the federation he used and he made the decision to go for a massive stimulus program. >> when the briefing is over, i went up to him and said, that has to be the worsting -- worst briefing that the president elect has had. and he said that is not even my worst briefing this week.
>> my biggest goal was to make sure the economy can could start growing again. >> high on the president's agenda, his campaign promise to heal the bitter partisan divide. >> we are more than a collection of red and blue states, we are the united states of america. [ applause ] >> after a month in office, a whopping 76% of americans approved of the new president's job performance, though he was just beginning. >> you could create whatever you wanted out of him, he was a folklore figure out of the gate. >> what did you think he was expected to do? >> i think the problem with change is change for what is what people did not know. >> the passionate speaker who electrified crowds on the campaign trail -- >> the president of the united states. >> -- would be a calm, cool
leader once in office. >> a lot of people describe you as cool. that cuts both ways. fair description? >> people who know me well and people on the campaign trail, i don't think they describe me that way. i am in a althoulot of ways an extravert with folks outside the beltway. i don't think it has hurt, except for my relations inside of the beltway here in washington. >> he is not easily categorized in any way. he wants it all. he is rational. first of all. he is a little bit deliberative and cautious and then once in a while, he goes for the bold stroke because he wants something larger. >> the president's next decisions would move the right to anger. >> you better wake up america! >> the left to disappointment. and leave a nation more polarized than ever.
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that appears on your screen. january, 2009. the president's promises of hope and change would be put to the test by the worst final crisis in modern history. >> you look at any important economic statistic. they were collapsing faster in the fall of 2008 than they had collapsed in the fall of 1929. 11 million americans unemployed. 13 million homes in foreclosure. the president's chief economist saw a unprecedented hole opening in the economy. >> we were hanging on the edge of the cliff and we were in fact
starting down that, down into the abyss. >> for once, most in washington agreed, something had to be done. >> things were bad, it needed to be big, it needed to be bold. >> there were vast disagreements on how bold. some in the president's party wanted a rescue plan close to two trillion. >> it's a funny thing to say, but every $100 billion helps. by doing a bigger program than what had been on the table, absolutelily meant we were getting more job creation and more help for the economy. >> the republicans balked at anything half of that. >> i don't think that the colleagues have the sense that another $800 billion will solve the problem. >> the president decided to try to rev the nation's economy engine. he felt he needed bipartisan support. so he met with republican members of congress.
before he took office, days after inauguration and on super bowl sunday. he was pitching a bill that was going give tax cuts to almost all americans. pay salaries to teachers and cops. build roads and bridges and more. republicans objected to the spending and to the president's tone. >> we outlined other things that we felt would get the economy moving again and put people back to work. those issues were rejected and the president just at that same meeting said, you have to understand when we disagree, you have to remember that i won. >> a phrase like "i won" wasn't winning the president any friends. but the president said he was listening to republicans. >> if anything, i think i received a lot of criticism from my own party for trying to go
out of my way to get republican cooperation. the fact of the matter was, politically there was a decision made fairly early on among some of their leadership that said, working with the president is not good politics. >> i think he came in sort of feeling his own exceptionalism and the realities of washington smacked him in the head. by the time the president went to sell the bill to congress, republicans seemed to have made up their minds. >> on my trip up to the hill, they released an e-mail said they would vote against it before they had heard the presentation. >> every house republican voted no. >> the bill that was suppose onned to be about jobs, jobs, jobs, has turned into a bill about spending, spending, spending. >> two months after the election. the republicans said, this is your problem, we will start planning for four years from
now. >> the president scrambled to the senate to try to save the bill. when the bill passed it came with a nearly $800 billion price tag and the support of three senate republicans. one of them was olympia snowe. >> got off to a poor start and unfortunately the wrong foot and set the tone for the remainder of his administration and he had only yet begun. >> she believes the president missed a crucial opportunity to engage republicans early on. >> and i'm not so sure that he truly understands the relationship and the interaction that occurs between the president and the legislative branch. >> in hindsight, his closest aids admit room for improvement. >> there was not forehand
holding and perhaps we should have made more time for it. at the time it seemed like he was spending his waking hours doing what he was supposed to do. >> republicans howled the spending was too much and when unemployment blew past the administration's 8% projection. >> i made a bad forecast. >> republicans slammed it as a failure. >> it turned out that the hole we were trying to dig out of was deeper than wed anticipa had an. >> the budget office found that the stimulus or recovery act saved or created more than 3 million jobs. but by then, the battle lines were drawn. in a clash of ideas that would dominate the president's term. >> between the belief that government is going to solve your problems to the belief that the era of big government is over. >> the president had lost control of the message and the hopes for partnership with
republicans. >> they were kind of coming at it like the old east german judge at the olympics, it does not matter, the president could do a triple flip lutz and they are giving him a two. the card is already filled out. we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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>> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god? >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> the first 100 days, traditionally gives the incoming president a soft start. >> at the end of every day, we would either be in the oval office or we would take a walk. >> president obama and his chief
of staff, rahm emanuel kept close tabs on their to-do list. >> we kept our eyes on the north stars. it's easy to get thrown off course day-to-day, what is your north star, what do you need to get done? >> did you expect there to be a honeymoon period? >> i don't remember walking the halls and saying, did we get a honeymoon? we had problems to solve, i did not have the luxury of looking at oil paintings. >> even as the stimulus fight was at fever pitch, the auto industry was falling fatally ill. >> literallily they were talking about two weeks and bust. it was not two years. it was not we have a problem here. we think we can keep it alive for two weeks. >> if general motors and chrysler had been liquidated in all likelihood, other industries would have collapsed. and the entire supplier network.
and the consequences would have been felt in every community in the country. >> the car companies squandered their first cash infusion from president bush. and when they asked for more taxpayer money. congress refused. so, the president did it on his own. >> we cannot and must not and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. >> and he went against the advice of his own -- in some cases his own advisers. he bailed out the auto industry anyway in a wildly unpopular move, o posed by nearly 3/4 of americans and as well as his future opponent, mitt romney. at first it cost thousands their jobs. >> when you look at everything from the auto bailout, which was very unpopular at the time and if i had been leading with emotions or had my political hat on, we may not have done. but saved a million jobs.
>> ultimately, the bailout saved jobs. and it provided the industry a safety net. but the president was not effective at selling it. >> it was great if you were sitting down for an hour long lecture, but not selling it to the public. he does not think in soundbites. >> while the president pushed forward the critics reacted to what they saw as a liberal project. >> then, in february, 2009, a defining attack on cnbc that tapped into a vein of rage. >> cuba used to have mansions to a great economy, now they are driving '54 chevys. we are thinking of having a tea party. >> the tea party was and they
would see each new program as the encroachment of big government. >> the economy is terrible because the president is exercising demand side economics. >> the president had angered the right, but he also riled the left when he asked for another $300 billion for the well street banks. >> bail out working families, bail out working families. >> then staggering news. failing insurance giant, aig, had received $170 billion in taxpayer money. and now it paid millions in bonuses to the very executives who wrecked the place. >> what happened with the bonuses was a mugging on wall street. >> privately, the advisers said that the president was outraged. >> i think it offended people's
values and it offended his values. >> but publically the president was slow to respond. >> the people is have the right to be angry. i'm angry. >> the administration let the bonuses stand and the president missed an opportunity to champion the change he had promised. >> you get out of this president a lot of butter knife routines. some abusers that are on wall street, who? name, the names. he does not do it because he does not like conflict. >> aides say it's not his style. >> is he going to get up on the sofa and yell and scream and stomp his feet? i don't think so. i think people misconceive the expression of emotion with the idea on of having emotion. >> ten months later, when more wall street bonuses were revealed, the president channelled his inner rage during an interview on 60 minutes. >> i did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on wall street. >> the bank bailout helped to
keep wall alive and credit flowing. eventually the government recouped that $300 billion plus a profit. and the president got his wall street reform through congress. but before his first 100 days were over, he had upset constituentsies across the spectrum. >> well he has either found the golden mean or the brass mean. because, you are right, the heads of the banks hate hip am people think he protected them. he is a socialist and a supporter of the 1%. me how you do that at the same time. >> i thought it was hard work, but it was easy to make everyone mad. >> the president seemed disconnect from the public and seemed ready to tackle his own agenda. >> all the work we did with the recovery act and tax cuts, all of it was to make sure we
righted the ship, as i reminded my staff we ran in 2008, not only to get back to the precrisis situation but to solve problems that had been hurting middle class families for a decade or more. >> in other words, the president wanted to get on with the work he went to the white house to do and that meant the biggest battle of his presidency. >> so let there be no doubt, health care reform, cannot wait and must not wait and it will not wait another year. [ applause ] with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice. go national. go like a pro.
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dizzying pace. saturday, president obama stumped and wrapped up the day in virginia. governor romney, ended with two campaign stops in colorado. because of last week's storm, people in new jersey can vote electronically on tuesday. they are widening the fax and e-mail program used by absentee voters. they want to ease the pressure on temporary polling stations. and 106 u.s. deg deaths ar blamed on the storm. 2.5 million people are still without power. the damage estimated at 30 to $50 billion. dozens have been struck by a new infection after being injected with the tainted steroids. 29 people have died.
i'm victor blackwell, "obama revealed" continues right now. back in january 2008, the hottest place for politics was in one of the coldest places in the country. a crowd of presidential hopefuls was in iowa. >> fired up. ready to go. >> including the junior senator from illinois. >> let's go change the world. >> we sat down on the cnn bus to talk for our first interview. when you're sitting in the oval office and you're the decider, how can you still be the change agent from that position? >> let's take the issue of health care reform. the way we're going to overcome the drug and insurance companies and hmos who may block reform is not by name calling and yelling at them. it's going to be to mobilize the american people so that they know it's in their interests.
>> reform health care. an ambitious promise. from a candidate who hadn't yet won a single primary. a year later, it topped president obama's to-do list. >> so let there be no doubt, health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year. >> many in his inner circle felt he needed to tackle other issues first, like creating jobs and growing the economy. >> you're going to dedicate a minimum year of your presidency. and has real implications on what else can't get done in that year. even when you do that, the chances of success is like 1 out of 1 million. >> he was advised and he knew going in that the politics of it weren't going to be very good. >> the status quo is not working for you. >> but the president believed he could succeed where others before him had failed.
>> thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. >> with health care, i think it had to do with the fact, he doesn't want to be just another president, he wants to be a great president. >> the president launched his fight to reform health care and largely outsourced it to congress. members were left to hammer out details on their own. >> i just want to make sure i don't get in the way of all of you moving aggressively and rapidly. >> and the president wanted bipartisan support. >> this time, we will not fail. >> the result? total impasse. >> i want to show you a chart. >> a deadlocked congress produced nearly a half dozen plans. >> 1,990 pages. >> and a growing swell of resistance. >> poorly designed for a government takeover of our health care system. >> the reforms -- the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
[ audience member shouts "you lie" ] >> that's not true. >> you don't see barack obama browbeaten. he might say, those republicans are unbelievable. but he constantly feels he's child of destiny. that self-confidence is his strong suit. it also can lead you to overthinking you can move mountains when mountains move very slowly. >> as the bill sat in congress -- >> no more obama! no more obama! >> -- rage exploded across the country. >> this is a vehicle to take us down a path of total socialism and totalitarianism. >> when it came to explaining health care, the president seemed to play the role of professor in chief. >> he seems to lack that emotional bit when he's talking about the politics.
he's very wonkish. which surprises people. because on the campaign trail, he seemed to be a different person. >> in a final blow, a crucial democratic seat passed into republican hands. >> ted kennedy's seat in the u.s. senate, which he had occupied for 46 years until his death last year, has been won by a republican. >> the president had lost the votes he needed to pass health care reform. his staff told him to scale back the bill or pause and return to it later. >> one of his senior advisers said to him, you know, mr. president, unless you're feeling lucky, i just don't think this is going to happen. >> i was making a yoke to them, i said, look, my name's barack obama and i'm not oval office, i've got to be lucky. you know, i felt that we still had an opportunity. although it was going to be more difficult, to try to get it done. >> by all accounts, when the politics seemed lost -- >> it is the right thing to do
and that's why i'm fighting so hard to get it done. >> -- president obama decided to double down on health care. >> caution, deliberation. and then occasionally making this incredibly bold move. that's just the way he operates. >> here's what i ask congress though. don't walk away from reform. not now. >> the president personally lobbied democrats to back his plan. then the bill was forced through the senate with a procedural end-run. >> the patient protection and affordable care act is passed. >> when it was over, president obama had accomplished something that had eluded democratic presidents for 75 years. >> it may have been a bloody road to success. he nevertheless had the political acumen to get this passed. >> the president, i believe is the ultimate three-pointer shooter with a second left on the clock. to his credit, he's got a lot to show for it. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states
of america, barack obama. >> in vice president biden's now infamous words -- >> this is a big deal. >> for the president's, an ambition realized. >> today, health insurance reform becomes law in the united states of america. when i think about all the seniors who are seeing more discounts on their prescription drugs and when i meet people who say, you know what, my brother, my uncle, my father, have a pre-existing condition, couldn't get health insurance, and now they feel more secure. the effort was worth it. >> he got his historic victory but at a tremendous cost. during the year the president was focused on health care, more jobs and homes were lost. and frustration mounted. even at town halls like this one on cnbc. >> i'm one of your middle class americans.
and quite frankly, i'm exhausted. i'm exhausted of defending you.i . transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up.
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we're done. >> president obama had won a hard-fought victory on health care but the country was still hurting. >> some economists are predicting that the unemployment rate could go higher. >> this is the first time ever that repossessions have topped 100,000 in a single month. >> as i've said from the start, there's no quick fix to the worst recession we've experienced since the great depression. >> by the summer of his second year in office, even some supporters seemed to be losing patience. like velma hart at this cnbc town hall. >> i'm one of your middle class americans. quite frankly, i'm exhausted. i'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that i voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. >> what made you ask the question? >> at the time, it was a burning issue. i had conversations with friends, colleagues, family members, who were out of work. we were all talking about, you know, year and a half in, were
we feeling the change we were all so excited about? >> change wasn't coming fast enough. not for velma hart. not for those voters who swept the president into office and expected him to champion their causes. latino voters were looking for the change candidate obama had promised on the campaign trail. >> we will have in the first year an immigration bill that i strongly support and that i'm promoting. >> while the president got credit in the latino community for appointing sonia sotomayor to the supreme court, he lost points for deporting more undocumented immigrants than any administration in history. and for failing to pass the immigration reform he promised. when republicans blocked a bill that would let the children of undocumented immigrants stay in the u.s., the president did not use his power to make them legal on his own. >> i think a lot of people came in with that sort of narrower
focus on what he would do for them. not really understanding that he's more pragmatic perhaps than they expected. >> we deserve -- >> we deserve -- >> full equality -- >> full equality! >> for gay americans, different issues, same response. >> and we are -- >> repeal "don't ask, don't tell"! >> now, it's good to see you. >> yes, we can! yes, we can! >> thank you. >> candidate obama had promised a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." but as president, he asked gay americans to wait patiently. >> as commander in chief, in time of war, i do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term. >> he went through a process because he wanted to get by him. he didn't want to just repeal "don't ask, don't tell." he wanted to make sure that gays
could serve in the military proudly and without being alienated or ostracized and would have the support. >> the repeal would pass congress but after almost two years. it was change on the president's time frame. >> that's why i believe this is the right thing to do for our military. that's why i believe it is the right thing to do, period. >> i think that the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was one of his largest civil rights accomplishments. and the fact you haven't heard any stories about any problems is an indication that sometimes it's better to do it over a slower process than to do it expeditiously. >> as the nation's first black president, barack obama has been expected to tackle race in ways other presidents have not. he told "black enterprise" magazine, quote, i'm not the president of black america, i'm the president of the united states of america. >> everything he's done, both short, medium and long-term to
get our economy back on track, all of that benefits the african-american community. >> harvard's randall kennedy has written about the president and race. >> there have been some black americans who have been quite critical of the president. the great masses of black americans have been quite realistic and have understood the special burdens that barack obama faced. >> i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. >> early on, the president created an uproar by commenting on the arrest of black harvard professor henry lewis gates, jr. by a white police officer outside his own home. >> number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly. >> immediately, immediately, there were people who said, ah, this shows barack obama's resentfulness. this shows barack obama has a
problem with white culture. this shows that barack obama doesn't like white people. >> the president doused the controversy in the rose garden with gates and the police officer at the so-called beer summit. >> well, he's trying to negotiate the dangerous shoals of race in america. it's not easy for any president. it's particularly more sensitive and subtle for a black president. >> sensitive. both personally and politically. >> his memoir's all about race. that's the lens through which he saw his life. so i think it's very deeply part of how he views the world. and how he views himself. but i think that politically he doesn't want to get stuck there. >> does he make a conscious decision not to talk about race in office? >> periodically, he's spoken to it in ways that are very, very powerful. i don't think he sees that as the defining issue of our time. the defining issue of our time
is how all americans can live in a country where if they work hard, they can get ahead. >> but as the midterm elections approached, millions of americans feared they'd never get ahead. and on november 2nd, 2010 -- >> cnn is now ready to make a major projection. the republicans will take control of the house of representatives. >> can you hear us now! >> bolstered by the tea party, six republicans claimed seats in the senate and 63 swept into the house, giving the gop the majority. >> i'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like i did last night. >> it seemed the american people were having buyer's remorse. rejecting the president they'd embraced so warmly just two years earlier. the president would have to find a way to get back in the game. >> when things get challenging, he's at his best.ha
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shooter. >> he'll take his midrange jumper and he'll attack the basket. he'll knock down open shots when he's got them. >> the kind of guy you want on your team. and love has been on the president's team since the campaign days. what's he like when he's just hanging out? >> he's like a guy, you know. he likes the bulls. he likes the bears. he likes sports. likes cards. like most guys i know. which can sometimes be hard for some people. they're like, oh, wait, he's just like me. but he's the president. >> as his personal assistant and confidant, love's seen the president as few others have. >> he's very much a person who enjoys the simple things in life. enjoys watching a good game. enjoys a good cocktail. is competitive at everything he does. if it's bowling or pool or shuffle board. there isn't anything i think he'd be okay losing at. >> the republicans will take control of the house of
representatives. >> and even when he wasn't winning with his policies, the president seemed to score with his popularity. >> most americans, polls show, like barack obama. ♪ i'm so in love with you [ cheers and applause ] >> when he sings a little song and he acts a little cool or he shoots baskets or he tells a joke, people still swoon over him. >> his cool demeanor plays as hip to some. >> why? >> here on "saturday night live." >> i keep it cool. i take my kids to school. i don't lose my temper. it's my only rule. i keep it cool. >> aides call it one of his greatest assets. >> there's no doubt that he is cool under fire. when things get challenging, he's at his best. he's at his coolest. so that coolness is a great quality in a leader. >> cool as president but
passionate about his role as father in chief. >> it has to be a balance. bill clinton was imbalanced. so he needed those strangers. so he would spend the hours between 6:00 and 9:00 talking to people in congress whereas president obama's basically with his family during those hours, which is sort of a balancing to do. but not necessarily good for a president. >> when working in town here in washington, in the evenings, 6:30, we want to be at the dinner table with our kids. and i want to be helping with their homework. i think that's sometimes interpreted as me not wanting to be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. and it really has more to do with just the stage we are in our lives. >> if you're reelected, your girls will be older. they'll probably have their own weekend plans. might not want to hang out with mom and dad. >> it's already starting to happen. >> do you think you might do more outreach or what you call back-slapping with members of congress?
>> my hope is that getting past this election, people i will have an opportunity maybe to step back and say, you know what, the differences that divide us aren't as important as the common bonds we have as americans. and some of that, i'm sure, will require additional effort on my part. hopefully we'll see more effort on the other side as well. >> though being a family man isn't always an asset in office, it is a priority for the president. >> well, you have to remember, this is someone who grew up raised by a single mom and his grandparents whose father abandoned him and he's lived with that kind of missing piece in him. and at a very young age, he decided he wasn't going to be the kind of father he had. he wanted to be a present father. >> and a partner in parenting to his wife, michelle. >> barack and i really do share the same values. respect, empathy, hard work,
decency. we're constantly telling our kids the most important thing they can be is good, decent people who treat other people with kindness and respect. >> he's a guy who really loves his wife. she's obviously a great source of personal strength to him. >> michelle obama's role has been to keep him grounded. to make sure his ego isn't a macy's float that takes off. >> she keeps me straight every single day. she is the best mom in the world. and she's cute. >> the president has called you the best mom in the world. he says the girls are grounded and great. but no kid is effect. so when the time calls for it, which one of you plays the heavy? >> this is the thing i like about barack. he is not the happy dad. he is very good at reinforcing
the rules and boundaries that we set. we never get into that, but dad said -- we're very good at not letting the kids play off of us. >> but clearly on the court, the girls listen closely to what dad says. you coach your daughter's basketball team. >> there you go. that's sasha's team, the vipers. this has been so much fun. i don't coach them full time. i'm sort of like an assistant coach/adviser. >> so what does the president's own game say about his leadership style? >> he's a competitor. you know, sometimes you get a bad call. from an efficiency standpoint, you can cry about the call or you can look to the next play. >> calm and cool.
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my fellow americans. >> saturday, april 30th, 2011. mahalo. >> president obama was doing stand-up at the white house correspondents dinner. as halfway around the world, a group of navy s.e.a.l.s was moving into position to target the world's most wanted terrorist. >> some people now suggest i'm too professorial. i'd like to address that head-on. >> if he was anxious, he didn't show it. >> by assigning all of you some reading that will help you draw your own conclusions. >> the planning had started in secret months before. >> he asked each and every one of us in the small group of the
national security council what our opinion was. and there was disagreement. so it came down, as it does in these situations, with the hard decision having to go to the president. >> when i'm making decisions, i try to pull back a little bit and take the long view. >> there were easier options. and the plan on the table risked hostages or casualties. >> i think for me to be able to step back and say, all right, what's best for the country, and not get caught up in the immediate fears, risks, concerns and pressures that you're feeling right then has probably been helpful. >> the president gave the order. >> he wanted to go for it. you know, he has that self-confidence.
he has a sense of luck being on his side. >> the next day, the president and his national security team watched as navy s.e.a.l.s raided the compound where osama bin laden was believed to be hiding. >> we were following it in real time. so it was a roller coaster of emotions that we were living through. >> the president described it as the longest 40 minutes of his life. then came the news. >> we got the word geronimo. what that meant is, we got him, we saw him, it is bin laden. but we had to get our guys out. i'm not sure any of us breathed until we got word they had crossed back into afghanistan. >> the president normally known for his caution had chosen the riskiest course possible and it
paid off. >> i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. >> usa! usa! usa! >> to those on the left who watched how the obama presidency played out, the surprise was his aggressiveness. to those on the right, the surprise was his aggressiveness. they kept thinking he was a community organizer from chicago who had no concept of how to use american power. >> since then, president obama has pulled troops from iraq. created a plan to leave afghanistan. and drastically expanded the use of armed drones to target terrorists. >> he may be known as the drone president.
the president who relied on technology to do the business of troops. >> my most sacred duty as president and commander in chief is to keep the american people safe. drones are one tool that we use. >> even if the target is an american. in 2011, one of those targeted for death was anwar al awlaki, an al qaeda leader living in yemen and also an american citizen. are the standards different when the target's an american? >> when an american has made a decision to affiliate itself with al qaeda and target fellow americans, that -- there is a legal justification for us to try to stop them from carrying out plots. >> many of his supporters are quite concerned because they view this as basically a form of
targeted assassination. >> do you struggle with this policy? >> oh, absolutely. if you don't, then it's very easy to slip into a situation in which you end up bending rules thinking that the ends always justify the means. >> another new frontier? with israel, the president is believed to have launched a devastating cyber war against iran's nuclear program. still, the president's been plagued by tensions with israel's prime minister that's prompted an election year defense of his dedication to the jewish state. >> our commitment to israel's security must not waver and neither must our pursuit of peace. >> for the president, it's a nuanced approach. when america's threatened, the president doesn't hesitate to act on his own.
>> where he determined that we would act unilaterally, it was all about those people, those groups, that threaten us. >> but in a humanitarian crisis like syria's, the president prefers company. and until he has it, he won't act. >> syria has created great outrage and terrible humanitarian anguish but we don't have any international consensus about the way forward. >> it all adds up to what some call the obama doctrine. >> the obama doctrine is less blood, less treasure, less intervention of a lengthy kind. >> though governor romney calls him reluctant to lead. >> the administration has characterized their foreign policy as leading from behind. i call that following.
>> these days, his critics have more ammunition with the deaths of ambassador chris stevens and three other americans in libya. it happened on 9/11, raising questions, why wasn't security ramped up? and why were protests initially blamed for the attack? a month later, the president addressed these questions on abc news. >> as information came in, information was put out. the information may not have always been right the first time. >> the president says the fog of war created confusion. what is clear, as commander in chief, the president can fly solo. to solve the country's domestic problems, he needs a partner. >> the president was going to have to deliver half the democrats. i was going to have to deliver half the republicans. i was confident i could do that.
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control of the house and the senate's top republican declared -- >> our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny president obama a second term. >> eight months since the midterms when a chastened president promised a new way forward. >> we were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn't change how things got done. >> and eight months since a bipartisan debt commission offered a host of painful solutions. solutions washington ignored. by the time both men hit the links, the looming crisis over the debt ceiling threatened to make a bad economy even worse. >> it would be two to three times worse of a recession than the one that we were facing as the president comes into office. >> the stakes were high. and the republicans emboldened by their midterm victories.
>> thank you, pennsylvania! >> the republicans were essentially saying, ha, ha, the president will get nothing and like it. >> so the president looked to a new partner. >> the president and i like each other. i mean, we actually do get along. >> i think he felt like boehner, of ohio, that he would be able to deal with him. that he was a kawanis club republican, that i could do business with a guy like that. i think obama saw him as the great hope. >> the president and speaker boehner began furtive meetings with their parties world apart. republicans wanted to cut spending. >> we got to stop growing government, hoping to grow jobs, and instead we got to start cutting the federal deficit. >> democrats wanted to limit tax giveaways to the wealthiest americans. >> what we've heard from our republican colleagues is they're not willing to close one special interest tax loophole. >> the president and speaker boehner came up with an ambitious solution.
they'd craft a grand bargain to raise the debt ceiling. it would also include changes to social security, medicare, tax policy and defense spending. for both sides, it meant lots of pain. but for the nation, it could mean lots of gain. >> i think he genuinely thought there was an opportunity to do something big and meaningful to deal with our long-term debt and had what he considered productive discussions with john boehner. >> new urgency this morning. >> the clock ticks. >> we've been here before but not quite this close to default. >> was there ever a time in that meeting when he said we have a deal? >> yes, ma'am. about a week before the debt ceiling was to expire, the president asked mr. cantor and i to come in the oval office where we basically sealed the deal. >> it seemed the president had bridged the partisan divide and could count reining in the
deficit as part of his legacy. but then in the final moments, the so-called grand bargain collapsed. >> i have offered ideas -- >> and finger-pointing began. >> not one time, not one time, did the administration ever put any plan on the table. >> it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. >> for speaker boehner, the problem was a last request to alter the deal. >> i said, mr. president, you know i can't do this. we've been talking about this for months. i'm already as far out on a limb as i can get. you know this. why are you doing this? it's unfortunate. he basically blew up the deal. >> not true, says the white house. >> i think personally speaker boehner probably wanted to do something. he just couldn't control his caucus. >> but the speaker says his people were never the problem. >> i got into some tough negotiations with ted kennedy. he didn't flinch.
he didn't back away from the deal. he went straight forward. that's courage. >> speaker boehner, he says you flinched. >> yeah, well, i'm sure that's his version of events. i was prepared to make some cuts and some changes that were very unpopular in my base and among democrats, if i got a little bit of compromise from the other side on revenue. >> both men seem burned by the experience. >> if i look back over the year and a half or so that i've been speaker, my greatest disappointment is the president and i couldn't come to an agreement on solving our debt crisis. >> the final deal brokered by vice president biden was far smaller than the president wanted. for president obama, it was a turning point. >> it took him i think two years to the debt ceiling debate to understand that he was not going to be able to be the
conciliatory president, the mediator in chief. >> now, more than a year after that golf game, the president says of republicans -- >> where i can work with them, i will. where they don't want to compromise, i'll work around them. >> and he set out on a path of go for the jugular politics. he laid out his jobs plan, championed the popular payroll tax cut -- >> tell congress to pass this tax cut without drama, without delay. >> and took executive actions without the support of congress. >> we can't simply wait for congress to do its job. >> the republicans fired back. >> now we have our own modern day great train robbery. >> probing the bankruptcy of the taxpayer-funded solar firm solyndra. and relentlessly pursuing fast and furious, anti-gun trafficking operation that cost a border agent his life. the bitter partisan divide was back out in the open
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president turned his attention to a new battle. >> four more years! >> the election. >> i think his naivety has been finally squashed. i don't think you've see that naive, "yes, we can" man of 2008 ever again. >> now a candidate, he's shifted focus from wooing the other side to winning back disappointed supporters, like women. >> i for one am spending a lot of time out there talking to women to make sure they understand that's all the line and we don't want to see everything that we worked and fought for to go away. >> and then gays and lesbians saying this on "good morning america". >> i think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
>> next, latinos, an electoral voting bloc. >> no more lies! >> after initially failing to press for immigration reform, in june, the president temporarily halted the deportation of the children of undocumented immigrants. campaign 2012 had begun. >> to be the transformational president he wants to be, you have to have two terms. you can't do it in one. so everything is riding on this election for barack obama. >> the president has framed this as a battle over opposing economic visions. >> you cannot grow this economy from the top down. you grow this economy from the middle class out. >> his campaign launched an assault on governor romney's record.
>> mitt romney made $20 million in 2010 but paid only 14% in taxes. >> in the final days, president obama is making a closing argument that's part jab -- >> i think it's called romnesia. >> part promise. >> i will spend every waking hour trying to make your lives a little bit better. >> i'm counting on you -- >> leaving the two men in a close race to the finish with a tiny margin of undecided voters likely to make all the difference. ultimately, it will be up to voters and historians to assess the president's term in office. among his accomplishments, the killing of osama bin laden, the passage of landmark but controversial health care reform, the restructuring of the american auto industry, averting
a great depression and keeping his promise to withdraw from iraq. >> the last 3 1/2 years will probably be viewed as one of the most tumultuous periods in american history. and having that steady hand that the president has, i think has really benefited our country. >> on the other side of the ledger, millions of americans still unemployed. millions of homes still under water, a ballooning national debt, a broken promise to close guantanamo bay. the killing of ambassador chris stevens in libya and a nation more divided than ever. but isn't that what you ran on in 2008, promising to bridge the divide? >> what i promised was that we were going to look out for the american people and that i would do everything i could to break through some of the old
ideological gridlock and just focus on what works. and that's actually what we did. >> despite the challenges, president obama says he can still do more. >> what i hope is is that post-election, if the american people are willing to see me here for another four years, that members of congress are going to remind themselves what they're sent here to do. and that is ultimately to work for the people who sent us here. >> as the clock runs out, the president is pitching the same advice he gives his daughter's basketball team. >> just always worry about doing your job, doing your best, getting better and thinking like a team.