Obama OK With Just One-Term: ‘Job Description is to Solve Problems’ Not Get Reelected
January 26, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-In advance of his first State of the Union Address on Wednesday, President Obama sat down for an interview with Diana Sawyer of ABC’s “World News” to discuss his first term in office, the political hurdles to reforming health care and his new proposals to ease the financial burden on the middle class, during one of the worst recessions the country has ever faced. Obama was reflective during the interview, acknowledging that he made mistakes, “I’d probably say I make a mistake a day, maybe two.” And the biggest mistake? The handling of the health care reform bill.
But the big money quote occurred when Obama pledged to not give up the fight, saying “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.”
Obama and the Democratic Party recently suffered a series of setbacks, beginning with the surprising loss of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s seat, depriving the Democrats of the 60 member filibuster-proof majority in the senate. The election of right-wing Republican Scott Brown who vowed to kill the health care reform bill, left the White House momentarily stunned, as the health care reform bill was just inches away from being passed, before Brown’s win.
But Obama in his interview, is promising to fight the good fight for health care reform and other initiatives, and not spend his first term watching his poll numbers and worrying about becoming elected to a second term:
“You know, there is a tendency in Washington to believe our job description, of elected officials, is to get reelected. That’s not our job description,” Obama said. “Our job description is to solve problems and to help people.” “I don’t want to look back on my time here and say to myself all I was interested in was nurturing my own popularity.”
“I went through this [in] the campaign. When your poll numbers drop, you are an idiot. When your poll numbers are high, you are a genius. If my poll numbers are low, then I am cool and cerebral, and cool and detached. If my poll numbers are high,” Obama said with a laugh, “boy he’s calm and reasoned all right.”‘
President Obama acknowledged that somehow the message about the importance of healthcare reform and what was in the bill, got lost in the media clamor amid Republican opposition. But he promised that health care reform would be enacted, while he was president:
“I think the healthcare debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst reporters that we just don’t know what’s going on,” and that some “stray cats” got in the bill, he said.
President Obama will appear before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, where he is expected to announce a series of new initiatives to help middle class Americans, such as increasing the child and dependent care tax credit and placing a cap on student federal loan payments, after graduation.
Source: ABC News