Huffpost Politics

Obama Reflects On First Term In Interview With Barbara Walters

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OBAMA BARBARA WALTERS INTERVIEW
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) | AP

President Barack Obama reflected on his first term in an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters to be aired Friday.

Walters asked whether he could "admit to any mistakes."

"Oh, I think probably once a day, I look back and I say, you know, I could have done that a little bit better," he said.

He admitted some responsibility for not succeeding in creating an atmosphere of bipartisanship and unity. "That mindset doesn't exist in Washington right now, and I do take some responsibility for making sure that that spirit which I think the country longs for, that we can somehow get that in the Congress as well," he said. "But that seems to be a longer than one-term project."

At a press conference in September 2010, Obama reflected on why he had not been able to create more of a spirit of cooperation in Washington, saying that Republicans had obstructed him from the beginning.

"I'm as frustrated as anybody by it," he said. "I think part of it has to do with the fact that when we came into office, we came in under very tough economic circumstances, and I think that some of the Republican leaders made the decision [that] 'we're gonna sit on the sidelines and let the Democrats try to solve it', and so we got a lot of resistance very early."

He continued on to say that he could have not pushed financial regulatory reform because it would get "too much resistance" from Republicans, but ultimately rejected that option by saying "I don't think that's the kind of leadership Americans wanted from their president."

In the Walters interview, Obama also answered what he thought was the biggest misconception about him. "Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical. People who know me know that I am a softie. I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily," he said.

"The challenge for me is that in this job I think a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions. And if you're not sort of showing it in a very theatrical way, then somehow it doesn't translate over the screen."

Many columnists, including Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, have compared the president to Mr. Spock from "Star Trek" because of his cool demeanor, deliberative approach to issues, and ears.

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