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tv   Countdown Democratic Convention  CNN  September 3, 2012 9:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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welcome to charlotte, north carolina, and the democratic
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national convention. we're taking a closer look at the education of a president in cnn's documentary "obama revealed." one of the most eye opening moments is when both the president and house speaker john boehner traded barbs about the collapse of the deficit deal last year. clear they are both still bitter about it. >> 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 and you know it. why are you doing this? it's unfortunate. he basically blew up the deal. >> not true says the white house. >> i think boehner wanted to do something. he just couldn't control his caucus. >> but the speaker said 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. that's courage. >> speaker boehner, he says you flinched. >> yeah, well, i'm sure that's
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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 compromise from the other side on revenue. >> well, chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is with us. with cnn contributors alex castellanos and james carville. what do these two men think about each other? >> i get the sense there is at this point no love lost between the two of them. speaker boehner said at one point we didn't get to use -- president obama is not my kind of guy and president obama scoffs at speaker boehner. i think it's sort of a bromance gone bad and they sort of both feel frustrated they could have had this legacy making deal. >> james, it is interesting to see the style of president obama. we sort of saw it in this documentary. do you think if he is re-elected
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that there will be much more change? there will be more back slapping? there would be more kind of outreach? >> i don't know. a guy you sort of -- i think the outreach -- he'll talk to people or something like that. as you saw him at 6:30, he like, to go be his family. now maybe his daughters, they pointed out in the piece, or the documentary i guess you'd call it, will be older. but he may engage in some of that. but by and large, he's a guy that's not a kind of back slapping kind of politician. he's very engaged. he worked har he knows that's not his thing. >> as you listened to president obama talk about change on congress if he's re-elected, do you see any change in the republican congress if he's re-elected, in terms of their willingness to compromise? >> well, you know, with responsibility and power, you
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have to step up to the plate. it's all easy to fight gorilla warfare from the outside when you're in a minority. but if republicans do take the senate and the house, i think so. but otherwise, it's so ideologically divided right now in washington between the administration and the republicans that i'm not sure anything would change. >> do you agree? >> no, something -- the election will change something. if he wins or loses or if the republicans -- if the democrats keep their head, nothing happens in the house. but basically the election is going to mean something. somebody should come out of this with an upper hand and some changes will be made. there was a fascinating thing on it, that whole debt story. there was a great story in "the new york times." it really went through kind of went through what happened. fascinating way the democracy works. it will change after the election. something will happen. something will give. >> this long afterward, people are still arguing over what happened in that is fascinating.
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>> there are two different versions. the big picture what i do believe is i believe the president when he says that he now believes he'll work around the republicans when they won't work with him. what i mean by that is he did come in with his whole philosophy he's going to bridge the partisan divide. saying he would do that. he's not saying that anymore. think he's learned about the executive power of the presidency. and he's learned how to flex his muscles in that. if he's re-elected, he will flex his muscles in the executive office more. >> there was talk about how he would leave things up to congress. do you think that was a mistake? >> i thought one of the great things that -- in jessica's piece is you got a sense of barack obama's demeanor, who he is. it's almost not a -- the character of a president. it's almost like a judge. king solomon. someone who sits above everything. and it's his job to weigh everything but believe in nothing.
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it's a little distant and cool. and i think that's one of the reasons that he let congress run early on. he sits above it. and he wants to be impartial and fair. >> do you buy that james? >> i mean, he was very involved in the stimulus. said he wanted congress to stay in. i got something i want to say. there's a whole group of people, they'd say, these campaigns, the media, they cover things that don't matter. you couldn't have watched the romney documentary we put out. you couldn't have watched this. and anybody, any fair person say, you know something, i learned something today. i learned something about what happened. what kind of person romney is. i really learned something about -- i was watching, the last four years, i didn't realize all the stuff happened that happened. i was talking to candy crowley. you know, you go back -- >> it is fascinating -- >> you relive that. my general point is i wish
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somebody would sort of acknowledge that you know what if anybody wants to see this, they're going to learn something, no matter how much you own. >> it's going to be on at the top of the hour. stay tuned to watch it. "obama revealed." we got a rare exchange. up next, jessica's question on the president's orders to strike at terrorists and his answer. >> the difficulties of dealing with an opponent that has no rules, that's something that you have to struggle with. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you, around the country, around the corner. us bank.
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jessica asked him about the process of choosing targets. watch. >> do you personally decide who was targeted and what are your criteria if you do for the use of lethal force? >> it has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative. it has to be a situation in which we can't capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the united states. but a lot of the terrorist networks that have targeted the united states, the most dangerous ones, operate in very remote regions and it's very difficult to capture. and we've got to make sure that whatever operations we conduct, we are very careful about avoiding civilian casualties. >> do you struggle with this policy? >> oh, absolutely. look, i think that a president who doesn't struggle with issues
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of war and peace and fighting terrorism and the -- the difficulties of dealing with an opponent that has no rules, that's something that you have to struggle with. because if you don't, then it is very he's were, easy to slip into a situation where you end up bending rules, thinking that the ends always justify the means. and that's not been our tradition. that's not who we are as a country. our most powerful tool over the long term to reduce the terrorist threat is to live up to our values and to be able to shape public opinion, not just here but around the world, that
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senseless violence is not the way to resolve political differences. so it's very important for the president and the entire culture of our national security team to continually ask tough questions about are we doing the right thing, are we abiding by rule of law, are we abiding by due process, and then set up structures and institutional checks, so that, you know, you avoid any kind of slippery slope into a place where we're not being true to who we are. >> the president rarely talks about drone strikes. joining me, jessica yellin, our cnn chief political analyst gloria borger, wolf blitzer, and cnn political correspondent candy crowley. was it hard to get him to talk about this? >> no, and he was willing to obviously answer the questions but i asked twice if you've personally, mr. president, decide who was targeted for lethal action, and he wouldn't
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answer it. he said, you know, i have to be careful because these are national security matters. it's been reported that he does. you heard his answer. it was very carefully crafted. and he didn't really reveal very much in the end. but it was interesting to me that he did want to discuss it. because he seems conflicted. he thinks it's important that americans know about the policy, know that there are clear standards, but he doesn't want to reveal too much. >> this is a president who has ordered more drone strikes, certainly exponentially more than occurred under the bush administration, yet republicans are attacking him for being weak in foreign policy. >> it's been amazing when you think about it, not only more drone strikes, killing more terrorists out there, militants if you will, and going after them. the whole bin laden operation obviously went forward on that. we know some of what he has organized in iran for example, covert action, the cyber warfare that jessica reported. there's been other covert operations that have been going on as well. i wouldn't be all that surprised one of these days, given the
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fact he said the u.s. will not accept a policy of containment, in terms of iran having a nuclear weapon capability, i wouldn't be shocked one day if the -- if he gives that order to go ahead and use military action. on this, he's pretty determined. >> it was interesting to me, gloria, to listen to the documentary about how he makes decisions and sort of the coolness with which he recognizes he makes decisions. >> just in watching him, it's very clear that like the methodical constitutional scholar that he is, nothing is taken lightly. no decision is made without a lawyer. no decision is made without a lot of forethought. i thaink what he wanted to talk particularly to his liberal constituency here, is he hasn't done this without thought. because lots of the left ring of the democratic party saying where are the battlefields, what are the rules of engagement?
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why do you feel it's fine to drop these drones? is that the right way to conduct warfare? i think in many ways he was sort of speaking to them. letting them know this is not a policy i just thought of overnight. >> also in the documentary, talked about the coolness with which he makes decisions. but also then occasionally taking great risk with very bold action. the bin laden killing was one. do you think -- i mean what role do you think foreign policy is going to play in people's decision making in this election? >> i don't think it's much of an election about foreign policy. it's certainly an underlying -- it's always an issue, but it's so small compared, right now, to jobs and the economy. and americans have shown that in general that's kind of pretty far down their list. if you look at bill clinton beating president bush. president bush had a resume -- probably one of the best resumes in politics for foreign policy. bill clinton who had no foreign policy experience beat him.
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dole, clinton beat him handily. lots of places when americans have shown when they're looking for something else, particularly the domestic side, that that's what they care about. it is interesting, it is very hard for the republicans to challenge him on the specifics of this drone program because in fact they had -- that's something they have supported. it is the lesson. it is been a quiet left by the way that has said, wait a second, two of the folks we killed were american citizens. and his son i believe. there were some things that really made a lot of folks on left squeamish but it has not been loud. this has been a plus for him. in some ways, it takes it off the table for this year. >> we have to take a quick break. president obama also talked about the conflict between trying to raise a family and the divide for getting things done in washington. take a look. >> 6:30, we want to be at the dinner table with the kids and i
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in the document ary, "obama revealed" which will be playing in about nine minutes from now -- >> when we're in washington, 6:30 we want to be at the dinner table with the kids, helping with their homework. i think that's sometimes
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interpreted as me not being out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. >> if you're re-elected your girls will be older, they will probably have their own weekend plans, not wanting to hang out with mom and dad. >> that's already starting to happen. >> my hope is, people will have an opportunity to step back and say, you know what, the differences that divide us aren't as important as the bonds we have as americans. some of that will require more effort on my part. we'll see more effort on the other side as well, hopefully. >> being a family man isn't always an asset in office, it is a priority for the president. >> this is a president who was raised by a single mom and his
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grandparents, his father abandoned him. he decided he wasn't going to be the kind of father he had, he wanted to be a present father. >> jessica yellin and our panel of correspondents are still with us. it's interesting, you were talking while this was on about the different kind of man he is on the campaign trail as he is in the white house, even his speeches are different? >> he is almost a warmer, more accessible person. >> on the campaign trail? >> than he is when he's in office. even if he's out in campaign setting when he's in office, out and -- a state selling something, he's not the same. >> is that because he sees the mantle of president as -- a demeanor? >> i think it's a way he feels he needs to be. when there's a clear opposition, it frees him to be a different
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way. >> when he says he's not back slapping and calling up friends in congress, he's not schmoozing with them because he wants to be with his family? >> he doesn't like to mix and mingle, he doesn't like to call up people who are raising money for him and say, thanks a lot. not to take away from i want to be with my kids at 6:30, i'm sure he does. the bushes weren't wild about town people either. there's a way to bring congress over for a bbq, cocktails. there's ways to do that. dlee clearly, they've talked about the 6:30 dinnertime a lot, i buy that. it is also true that he doesn't like any of that.
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>> it's not just reaching out to members of congress who are trying to convince people who differ in opinions. he's been criticized by fellow democrats who's saying, he's not signing the photograph that they request put on their wall, little things. >> he's aloof. it's not a new word. when you think of mitt romney and president obama they're both aloof in different ways. people say that mitt romney, when he's just with his family and friends is as warm as can be. when he gets on the stump, forget about it. when you think of president obama, he may be colder when he's in the oval office, when he's out on the stump, he relates to people in such a different way. so there are flip sides of each other. >> we haven't talked about michelle obama, she'll be speaking tomorrow night. it will be interesting to see how her speech compares. >> i think both of these 34e7b,
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mitt romney and president obama are blessed with wonderful wives. ann romney did a fabulous job last week. she's a wonderful woman, great mother, the love of his life. and i think all of that will come through in her remarks tomorrow night. just as it came through with ann romney's role. >> there's been a lot of talk about ann romney humanizing mitt romney. >> she helps people get a sense of who barack obama is as a guy. and she's a great speaker. she speaks in simpler, more relatable terms sometimes than her husband. >> that's going to be tomorrow night here at the convention, i'm anderson cooper, wolf blitzer, jessica yellin, candy crowley with me here. join us tomorrow. you have another chance to watch obama revealed, that's going to
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be starting in about 15 seconds from now, we hope you watch it, no matter what side of the political aisle you are on. no matter how much you think you know what's gone on in the last four years, you'll learn something. i did. obama revealed next. turns out you just sync your american express card securely to your twitter account, tweet specific hashtags, and you'll get offers on things you love. this totally changes the way i think about membership. saving money on the things you want. to me, that's the membership effect. nice boots! i i had pain in my abdomen...g. it just wouldn't go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember.
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>> a leader driven to make history. >> health care reform cannot wait. >> he doesn't just 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 osama bin laden. >> his presidency marked by political division. >> speaker boehner, he says you flinched. >> i'm sure that's 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."
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history in the making. >> i can't wait to tell my children about it. >> it was an historic moment. >> are you prepared to take the oath, senator? >> i am. i, barack hussein obama -- do solemnly swear to defend and protect the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god? >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> a new day with towering expectations. >> he looked at me and said, it's been an incredible ride, hasn't it? i said yeah. 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 much more than political change.
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[ crowd chanting obama ] >> i started crying, for the sons and daughters of slaves, their offspring, for people who have built the capitol. it means so much to every human being that live in this country. >> may 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 crowds 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! we want change! >> do you think people saw in him what they wanted to? >> there was some projection on
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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. that's the worst contraction in close to three decades. >> rahm emanuel would be the president's chief of staff. >> slightly like rolling thunder because you could have taken the economy, the auto, you could have taken the financial, you could have taken afghanistan, you could have taken iraq. usually when you have a series of things, it's like, that's an a, that's a b. what happens when all five are as? >> it was basically awful. >> economic adviser austan goolsbee watched in horror as the stock market dropped more than 500 points in a day. >> there was a bottle of bourbon sitting there in the campaign. it had been there for a year and
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a half and i said, man, if there ever was a day to have a drink of this emergency bourbon, it's today. >> and then it got worse. >> the next day, dropped another 500 points. and then late in the campaign, it happens again and somebody says, where's the bourbon? i said, the bottle's empty. >> the emergency bourbon was gone and the economy was in dire shape. one month before his inauguration, barack obama called an urgent meeting during a chicago blizzard. >> the president meets for the first time with all his economic advisers as a group for four hours. everybody is 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. we're going to have to hit this with everything we have. >> the president is very clear. we need to act.
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we need to make our mistakes on the side of pulling the band aid off fast. that was the phrase he used. he made the decision that day to go for a massive stimulus program. >> when the briefing's over, i go up to the president-elect and say, that's got to be the worst briefing that the president-elect's had since 1932, and maybe since abraham lincoln in 1860. and the president says, goolsbee, that's not even my worse briefing this week. >> my first job when i came into office was making sure we didn't get into a great depression and the economy could start growing again. >> also high on the president's agenda, his campaign promise to heal the nation's bitter partisan divide. >> we are more than a collection of red states and blue states. we're the united states of america.
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>> after a month in office, a whopping 76% of americans approved of the new president's job performance. though he was only just beginning. >> you could create whatever you wanted out of him. he was a folklore figure right out of the gate. >> what do you think people expected him to do? >> i think people didn't know. the problem with change is change for what? >> the passionate speaker who electrified crowds on the campaign trail -- >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, first lady michelle obama -- >> -- would become 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 lot of ways an extrovert when it comes to folks outside the beltway.
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i'm not sure it's hurt. except maybe for some of my relations i think inside of the beltway here in washington. >> he's not easily categorized in any way. he wants it all. he's rationale first of all. he's a little bit deliberative and cautious. once in a while, he'll go 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. >> i think he came in feeling his own exceptionalism. and then the realities of washington smacked him in the head. ♪ ♪
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it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. january 2009. the president's promises of hope and change would be put to the test by the worst financial 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 an unprecedented hole
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opening in the economy. >> we were hanging on the edge of a cliff. in fact, we were 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. >> but there were vast disagreements on how bold. some in the president's party wanted a rescue plan close to $2 trillion. >> it's a funny thing to say but every $100 million helps. so by doing a bigger program than what had been on table absolutely meant we were getting more job creation, more help for the economy. >> republicans balked at anything approaching even half that. >> i don't believe our colleagues had a sense that another $800 billion will in fact solve the problem. >> ultimately, the president decide to try to rev the economy's engine with a $787
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billion stimulus plan. the president 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 would give tax cuts to almost all americans. pay salaries for teachers and cops. build roads and bridges and more. republicans objected to the spending and to the president's tone. >> we outlined other ideas we thought would help get the economy moving again and put people back to work. those issues were rejected. and the president at that same meeting said, you have to understand that, you know, 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 says he was listening to republicans. >> if anything i think i
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received a lot of criticism from my own party for going out of my way to try to solicit republican cooperation. and the fact of the matter was that politically there was a decision that was 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 then 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 saying, we're going to be voting against it, before they'd even heard our presentation. >> in a stinging rebuke, every house republican voted no. >> the bill that was supposed to be about jobs, jobs, jobs, has turned into a bill that's all about spending, spending, and spending. >> two months after the election, the republicans said
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this is your problem. we're going to start planning for four years from now. >> the president scrambled his team to the hill to try to save the bill in the senate. when the stimulus finally passed -- >> and that's it, dana. >> that's it -- >> -- it came with a nearly $800 billion price tag, and the support of only three senate republicans. one of them was olympia snowe. >> he just got off to a poor start. unfortunately, the wrong foot. and set the tone for the remainder of his administration. had only begun. >> she believes the president missed a crucial opportunity to engage republicans early on. >> i'm not so sure that he truly understands the relationship and the interaction that occurs between the president and the legislative branch. >> with hindsight, his closest aides admit room for
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improvement. >> there wasn't a whole lot of time left over for sort of hand holding and schmoozing. perhaps we should have made more time for it. but 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 ourselves out of was deeper than we had anticipated. >> years later the nonpartisan congressional budget office would find 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
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your problems to 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 where it doesn't matter what, you know, the president could be doing a triple flip lutz and they're giving him a 2. the card's already filled out. . and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. i was talking to my best friend. i told her i wasn't feeling like myself... i had pain in my pelvic area... and bleeding that wasn't normal for me.
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preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god. >> so help me god. >> congratulation, mr. president. >> the first 100 days traditionally gives an incoming president a soft start. >> at the end of every day, we would either be in the oval office or we'd take a walk. >> president obama and his chief of staff rahm emanuel kept close tabs on their to-do list. >> then we made sure we had our -- he and i used this word interchangeably, our north stars.
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you know, it's easy in these jobs day to day to get thrown off course. what's 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 saying should we get a honeymoon? i don't really -- we got problems to solve. i don't have the luxury of looking at oil paintings and talking to them. >> even as the stimulus fight was at fever pitch, the auto industry was falling fatally ill. >> literally, they were talking about two weeks and bust. it was not two years, 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 automobile companies would have collapsed. an entire supplier network. the consequences would have been felt in either community in the country. >> the car companies had squandered their first cash
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infusion from president bush. months later when gm and chrysler 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 -- some cases, his own advisers. >> he bailed out the auto industry anyway in a wildly unpopular move opposed by nearly three quarters of americans. as well as his future republican opponent mitt romney. at first the restructuring of the industry 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 might not have done, but saved a million jobs. >> ultimately, the bailout saved jobs and it provided the industry a safety net.
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but the president was not effective at selling it. >> it would be great if you were sitting down for an hour-long lecture in a classroom but not necessarily try to sell it to the public. he doesn't think in sound bites. >> while the president pushed forward on his agenda, his critics reacted to what they saw as one liberal program after another. stimulus. auto rescue. homeowner relief. >> lennon and stalin would love this stuff. >> then in february 2009 a defining attack on cnbc that tapped into a rich vein of rage. >> you know, mansions and a relatively decent economy. they moved from the individual to the collective. now they're driving '54 chevys. we're thinking of having a chicago tea party. >> the tea party was born. conservatives would see each new program as an ominous sign of the encroachment of big government. >> the economy's terrible because i think president obama
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is practicing a lost decade economics. more borrowing, more spending, more demand side economics. a massive amount of uncertainty on regulation, on taxes, on interest rates. >> the president had angered the right. but he also riled the left when he asked for another $300 billion for the wall street banks. >> bailout working families! bailout working families! >> then staggering news. failing insurance giant aig had received 170 billion in taxpa$1 taxpayer dollars. now it paid millions in bonuses to the very executives who wrecked the place. >> what happened with these bonuses was a mugging on wall street. >> privately, advisers say the president was outraged. >> and i think it offended people's values and it offended his values. >> but publicly the president was slow to respond. >> i think people are right to be angry. i'm angry.
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>> the administration let the bonuses stand. and the president missed an opening to champion the change he had promised. >> you get out of this president a lot of butter knife routines. you know, these some abusers on wall street. who? name the names. he doesn't want to do that because he doesn't like conflict. >> aides say it's just not his style. >> is he going to, like, 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 of having emotion. >> ten months later, when more wall street bonuses were revealed, the president finally channeled his inner rage during an interview on "60 minutes." >> i did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat cat bankers on wall street. >> the bank bailout helped keep wall street alive and credit flowing. eventually the government recouped that $300 billion plus a profit.
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and the president got his wall street reform through congress. but before his first 100 days were over, he had upset constituencies across the spectrum. >> well, he's either called the golden mean or the brass mean. either one. because you're right, the heads of the banks hate him. a lot of other people think all he's done is protect them. he's both a socialist and advocate for the 1%. go figure how you are both a socialist and advocate for the 1% simultaneously. >> i thought that would be hard work but that proved remarkably easy to find ways to make everybody mad. >> out of the gate, the president seemed disconnected from the president and ready to tackle his own agenda. >> all the work we did with the recovery act and giving people tax cuts and saving the auto industry all were designed to make sure that we righted the ship. but as i reminded my staff, we ran in 2008 not only to get back
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to the pre-crisis situation but also to solve problems that had been, you know, 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. >> let there be no doubt, health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. monarch of marketing analysis.
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the most out of business, by getting the best out of people. shrm. leading people, leading organizations. 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.
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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 issue first. like creating jobs and growing the economy. >> you're going to dedicate a minimum of a year of your presidency, and it has real implications on what else can't get done that year?
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even when you do that, the chances of success is like 1 out of a 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.
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>> 1990 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 obama brow beaten. he might say, those republicans are unbelievable. but he somehow constantly feels he's a child of destiny. that 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
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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 till 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 joke to him. i said, look, my name's barack
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obama and i'm in the oval office, i have 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
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political acumen to get this passed. >> 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, it 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.
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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. is a complete multi-vitamin + designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. what ? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ? hello ? hello ?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello ? ally bank.
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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
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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 sonya sotomayor to the supreme court, he lost points for deporting more undocumented immigrants than any administration in history. and for failing to pass the
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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! >> 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
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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 gays could serve in the military proudly, without being alienated order 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
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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 junior by a white police officer outside his own home. >> number one, any of us would
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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 ways of race in america. it's not easy for any president. it's more sensitive 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.
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>> 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.
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>> 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. at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death.
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reggie love knows the president as a strong midrange 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 side. 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. he likes cars. 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. enjoins watching a good game. enjoys a good cocktail.
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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. >> the president's biographer
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says it stems from the laid-back pace of a childhood in hawaii. there's a terrific phrase you use. a bit of hawaiian slang that describes his even-keeled temperament. what is it? [ speaking foreign language ] >> what does that mean? >> it just means, whatever's happening, don't be hot, be cool. >> have you seen it play out in his presidency? >> very much so. yeah, i think that's one of the elements that plays out for better and worse. >> there's no doubt he's 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. >> he's basically got the sensibility of a writer. or of an anthropologist. you know, he's sort of a participant observer. observing himself being president at the same time. >> cool but does that mean
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disconnected? >> i hear that suggestion that he has trouble connecting but i just don't see it. i think a lot of people have trouble connecting with people in washington. >> the politician has to be sort of imbalanced. bill clinton was imbalanced. 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. you know, which is a sort of balanced thing to do but not necessarily good for a president. >> when we're 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, you know, be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. it really is more to do with the stage we are in our lives. >> if you're reelected, your girls will be older. they'll probably have their own weekend plans. they might not want to hang out with mom and dad. >> it's already starting to happen, yeah. >> do you think you might do more outreach, what you call
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back slapping, with members of congress? >> my hope is that getting past this election, people will have an opportunity to maybe step back and say, you know what, the differences that divide us aren't as important as the common bonds we have as americans. 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 37 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 present husband. >> he's a guy who really loves his wife.
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she's obviously a great source of personal strength to him. >> she keeps me straight every single day. she is the best mom in the world. and she's cute. >> michelle obama's role has been to keep him grounded. to make sure his ego isn't a macy's float that takes off. >> those who know him best say the president is a fierce competitor at any level. 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
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own game say about his leadership style? >> he's a competitor. you know, sometimes you get a bad call but you can't extend or overextend too much emotion worrying about what just happened. from efficiency standpoint, you know, you can cry about the call or you can look to the next play. >> calm and cool. assets that would prove invaluable when facing high stakes, high risks and the nation's greatest enemy. >> my fellow americans. >> saturday, april 30th, 2011. >> mahalo. >> president obama was doing stand up at the white house correspondents dinner.

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