The president says that part of the reason why there are often "sideshows" and similar distractions in politics is because the line between politics and entertainment has been blurred.

President Obama: Reality TV is seeping into how we think about our politics. When I am reading letters at night about families who are at risk of losing their homes, or describing what it's like when you send out 16 résumés and you're not getting a response back, and you're trying to figure out how to pay your bills, it's not reality TV. That's real. And that's what we have to spend some time about.

Oprah: During the civil rights movement, there was this wonderful documentary called Eyes on the Prize. We talked often about keeping our eyes on the prize. Do you think that the American people have lost a sense of what the prize is and, therefore, lost our focus?

President Obama: I don't think that the American people have lost their sense of what the prize is. But in terms of our collective political conversation, I think we get distracted all the time.

Mrs. Obama: The thing that I always loved about my husband is that he's always been the person that can keep his eye on the prize in the midst of some craziness. And I think that's what makes him a special leader. ... Those are the decisions that he's been making every single day.


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