Addressing a predominantly female audience, President Obama used an appearance on ABC's "The View" to talk about family – his own and the millions of American families facing economic difficulties.
Coming to the end of a difficult month, in which he contended with two wars, an oil spill, a race flap and legislative resistance from both sides of the aisle in Congress, Obama played a family game called "roses and thorns" that he has said in the past his family plays at the dinner table in which they pick something good and something bad that happened that day. Obama was asked to picked his best and worst moment for the month of July.
The show, which will air today at 11 a.m. EDT, celebrated the first appearance of a sitting president on a daytime talk show and the return of veteran hostess Barbara Walters after a hiatus following heart surgery.
Asked to pick a "rose and thorn" for the month, the president picked as his highlight a family vacation to Maine with daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9.
"The girls are getting old enough now where they're not quite teenagers yet, so they still like you. They are full of opinions and ideas and observations and it's just a great age," he said.
When it comes to picking a thorny low point, "Where do I begin," he quipped.
"Obviously the country has gone through a tough stretch. Since I took office when I was sworn in ... the last 20 months have been a nonstop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure we are creating jobs and not losing them," Obama said.
"As much as you've been saying it's tough for me, the truth is, it's not tough for me. You know I've got pundits on the news who might say things, but what the American people have gone through—losing jobs, seeing their home values go down, their 401ks declining -- those are the people that I draw inspiration from because I get letters every night from them and I read them," he said.
Obama was in New York and New Jersey Wednesday meeting with small business owners and doing political fund raising.
The president joked that he decided to appear on "The View" because it was the only show his wife Michelle watched.
"I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched, and so I thought this is it, right here," he said.
"All those new shows, she's like, eh, let me get the clicker."
Pundits, however, said Obama's decision to appear on the show likely had to do with appealing to its mostly female audience.
"The president is itching to get out of DC. This is an opportunity for the president to get his message out and get to people," said Democratic strategist Donna Brazille on "Good Morning America."
But for Obama's detractor's, the president managed to muddle his message even among the softball questions pitched by the show's five hosts.
"I think Obama is at the brink of complaining too much about the difficulties of being president… ticking off all your problem, ticking off the thorns," said Nicole Wallace, a former George W. Bush staffer.