Dem Rep Says Trump Presidency Is A 'Threat To Entire World'

Carla Harmon
January 13, 2018

"I think the key is what we call 'staying in the pocket.'" he said.

"We essentially built what ended up being the most effective political campaign probably in modern political history".

As Obama so astutely noted during their long interview (the episode has a 56-minute run-time), "It's a whole new ballgame now, man".

However, Letterman's obsequiousness, Obama's cautious answers-he never directly mentioned Donald Trump-and the fact that the interview was taped last fall made for a tepid viewing experience.

"I had a very optimistic feeling about (social networks)", Obama says. "So I get home and she (Malia) knows I'm pathetic, so she's texted me hearts, and, you know, so we are talking on a regular basis".

Obama said his wife's ability to maintain, if not grow her popularity, was in large part because of how she adapted to her role as First Lady.

Good thing Michelle was there!

Letterman concludes the chat with the first guest on his show by telling Obama, "Without a question of a doubt, you are the first president I truly and fully respect". That's probably why the audience for Letterman's first show, filmed in NY, went absolutely insane when Obama was introduced by Letterman (one of the show's conceits is that nobody in the audience knows who they are there to see). And it's potentially entertaining to see crotchety Dave, with his beard and white socks, remaking himself into a kind of hipster grandpa.

Obama said he didn't miss the trappings of the office. (The première episode also includes a stirring segment of Letterman in Selma, Alabama, walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Congressman John Lewis.) Mostly, the former President is on autopilot, speaking in the way he sometimes does, where you can nearly see him thinking a few sentences or ideas ahead, which makes him appear less than completely present.

Letterman joked that "I was under the impression that Twitter would be the mechanism by which truth was told around the world".

During a pretaped segment as part of the middle part of the program, Letterman interviewed Lewis as both walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, site of the "Bloody Sunday" march on March 7, 1965, when police attacked protesters - including Lewis - with clubs and tear gas.

Obama also says he's not about to return to presidential politics. "Not just African Americans, but all Americans. because I think what has happened in America today is a threat not just to our own country, but to the planet".

Obama pivoted the conversation on race to discuss barriers that still exist for voting in America. According to Obama, when he and the rest of the family moved in his daughter Malia into her new college digs (she's now a freshman at Harvard, ) he was feeling pretty emotional about firstborn moving out, so Malia suggested that he help her put together a lamp that she had gotten for her desk.

"I was basically useless", he said.

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