tv Weekend Early Start CNN November 4, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST
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 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 be the change agent from that position? >> let's take the issue of health care reform. the way we're going to overcome the drugs and the insurance companies is not by name-calling and yelling at them. it's going to be to mobilize the american people so they know it's in that interests. >> reform health care, an ambitious promise, from a candidate who had. 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 of a year in your presidency, and it has real policy implications on what else can't get done in that year. and even when you do that, the chances of success given 88 years is like one 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 that he
doesn't just want to be another president. he wanted to be great president. the president launched his fight to reform health care, then largely outsourced it to congress. members were left to hammer out details on their own. >> i just want to make sure that 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. [ booing ] >> you don't see barack obama
brow-beaten. he might say, geez, those republicans are unbelievable, but he somehow constantly feels he's a child of destiny, that self-confidence is his strong suit, but 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! >> kill the bill! >> kill the bill! >> -- rage exploded across the country. >> this is a path to take us down to total socialism and totalitarianism. >> 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 leaving the u.s. senate, which he had occupied for 46 years until his dealt 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 is barack obama and i live in the oval office so i've got to be lucky. we felt although we knew it was going to be difficult to try to get it done. >> by all accounts when politics had seemed lost -- >> it is the right thing to do and that's why i've decided to
get it done. >> -- barack obama decided to do it. >> that's an incredibly bold move. that's the way he moves. >> 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 the procedure real 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 nefrms had the political acumen to get this passed. >> the president, i believe, is the ultimate three-point shooter with a second left on the clock to. his credit, he's got a lot to show for it. >> ladies an y ies and gentleme president of the united states, barack obama. >> now in vice president's
biden's infamous words, the president, 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.
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started in new hampshire, spoke iowa, ending with two campaign stops in colorado. because of last week's storm, people in new jersey can vote electronically on tuesday. the governor's office says it's widening the fax and e-mail programs used by absentee voters and deployed military. the storm wiped out so many structures, officials wanted to ease the pressure on temporary polling places. and the storm clean-up continues. at least 106 u.s. deaths are blamed on the storms, and the search for victims is still ongoing. almost 2.5 million people are still without power. the damage is estimated at $30 billion to $50 billion. an update on the meningitis outbreak. dozens new infections. 14,000 people received the shots. 29 people have died. i'm victor blackwell. "obama revealed" continues right now.
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. >> and 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 that 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 a 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 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 that 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 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 proffers 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 that 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.
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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 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. chl i think sometimes can be hard for some people because they're like, oh, wait, he's sort -- 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 shuffleboard.
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. >> a 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, 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, and 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 re-elected, 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 that the most important thing that 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 perfect. >> no. >> so when the time calls for it, which one of you plays the heavy? >> you know, this is the thing i like about barack.
he's not like the happy dad, you know. he's very good at reinforcing the rules and boundaries that we set. we never get into that, but dad said -- you know, we're very good, you know, 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, s 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. >> we got the word geronimo. and what that means is, we got him, we saw him, it is bin laden. why not make the day unforgettable? with two times the points on travel, you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. ♪
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 that i'm too profess orrial, and 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 "jer on mow," and what that meant was we got him, we saw him, it is bin laden. but we had to get our guys out. so 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 that 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 -- you know, 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.
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we're not there yet, but we've made real progress and the... last thing we should do is turn back now. here's my plan for the next four years: making education and training a national priority; building on our manufacturing boom; boosting american-made energy; reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where... we can, and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. and ending the war in afghanistan, so we can... do some nation-building here at home. that's the right path. so read my plan, compare it to governor romney's... and decide which is better for you. it's an honor to be your president... and i'm asking for your vote... so together, we can keep moving america forward. i'm barack obama and i approve this message.
by june 2011 it had been eight months since the republicans won 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 kiwanis 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've got to stop growing government, hoping to grow jobs, and instead we've 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 that there was an opportunity 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 the 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 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 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 that 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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hey, we're fired up! we're ready to go! barreling into 2012, the president turned his attention to a new battle. >> four more years! four more years! four more years! >> the election. >> i think his naivety has been finally squashed. and i don't think you'll ever see that nay eve, "yes, we can" man of 2008 ever began. >> 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 --
>> hey, obama, don't you know, pho, pho, phobia's got to go. >> -- 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. >> four more years!
four more years! >> 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 benefitted 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.