President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
PAGE 13
Especially amid divisive politics and the often turbulent tone of Washington, holding the office of the President calls for having thick skin—there will always be detractors throwing stones. President Obama credits his upbringing for his calm, even temperament.

"I had a lot of changes when I was young. You know, father not in the home, moving around quite a bit, oftentimes being an outsider in a place where there weren't a lot of African-Americans, or having an unusual name," he says. "Some of it, though, I also think just has to do with the fact that as I get older, it's easier to keep things in perspective."

For the rest of his term, President Obama says he hopes to better communicate his vision for the country with the citizens. "I think that in the first two years we were so busy just trying to solve problems that sometimes I forgot that part of leadership is being able to tell a story about where we're going and what we're doing," he says. "We did that very well during the campaign. We projected a vision of where America needs to go, and then we got into the governance of it. ... Sometimes we forgot to be in a conversation with the American people where we said, 'You know, this is why we're doing it. This is where we need to go.'"

While President and Mrs. Obama have changed the country in innumerable ways, President Obama says that over 25 seasons, Oprah has too. "You've got a big heart, and you share it with people. Nobody knows how to connect better than you do," he says. "We are just blessed and grateful to have you in our lives."

More on The Obamas:
FROM: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Published on May 02, 2011

NEXT STORY

Next Story

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD