President Obama also says he tries to focus on long-term targets while implementing short-term solutions—and addressing immediate issues such as high gas prices.
President Obama: Right now, gas prices are on everybody's mind. Now that's a short-term problem for ordinary families.
Oprah: $4.59 [per gallon]!
President Obama: Unbelievable. ... There are families across the country who have to drive 50 miles to get to their job, and they just see that money bleeding away from them. So, this is a good example of where we have to think short-term: How can we provide folks [with] immediate relief? But what I also have to think about is long term. How do we make sure that we start investing in electric cars? If China is able to build high-speed rail, why can't we?
Oprah: Why can't we? Is it is the way we think about it? Do we need to change the way we think about it?
President Obama: Countries are like people: We get into habits. Remember, our slogan was "Change we can believe in." Everybody liked that slogan. [But] it turns out, change is a little harder than people maybe anticipated.
Oprah: People liked the idea, but when it comes time to actually do it...
President Obama: It's hard to change some of our habits.