'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

David Maraniss said that, in the second term, his will to survive is less likely to contradict his will to do good. He's going to act with more assurance, and he's going to show who he really is in his second term. Is that what you see?

PLOUFFE: Well, I think one of his great strengths is his authenticity, so he's -- he's always been the same person. But I do think that, you know, it's clear, there's a huge consensus in the country about how we ought to approach the deficit, economy, issues like immigration and gun safety, and I don't think he's going to -- he's going to be very frustrated if Washington is completely divorced from the reality in the country.

So he's going to seek common ground. He's going to find every way he can to compromise. But he's going to be pretty clear, and we're also going to bring the American people more into the debate than we did in the first term.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the biggest difference between the President Obama who took the oath four years ago and the one who will take the oath tomorrow?

PLOUFFE: Well, there's atmospheric differences. We obviously had an economy that was collapsing all around us, and he was a first-term president, so at that time, he's still putting together his team, his cabinet, his agenda.

I think now the economy's still too weak but recovering, and so the question is right now is, what -- building on that, as opposed to just simply trying to stem the bleeding. So big difference.

And I think the experience of the office, as you know -- you know, that helps a lot. And so I think he does have even more sure-footedness in terms of his approach and where he wants to take the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It also can become a bit of a burden. You know, historians write about this second term curse. And I know you and your team have spent a lot of time studying how to avoid that. What's the key?

PLOUFFE: Well, I think -- listen, if you look at President Clinton's second term, he made significant progress on balanced budgets, Ronald Reagan accomplished tax reform. So second-term presidents have had success...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if they're dealing with other problems?

PLOUFFE: Yeah. And, you know, we obviously have been fortunate to be scandal-free. We want to continue that. So -- but if you -- look, it's not like we're roaming around the West Wing looking for things to do. I mean, right now, right in front of Congress and the country, you've got the need to reduce the deficit, continue to grow the economy, energy and climate change, immigration, gun safety. Things are stacked up.

And so I think that that is going to provide the sort of focus and energy you need, and I think his -- his intention is to run through the tape all the way through.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Gun safety has jumped to the top of the president's agenda since Newtown. And this week, the president promised to put the weight of his office behind these proposals, but we're already seeing a lot of resistance from Democrats.

I want to show some of the reaction this week. Senator Max Baucus, Democrat from Montana: "Before passing new laws, we need a thoughtful debate that respects responsible, law-abiding gun owners in Montana instead of one-size-fits-all directives from Washington."

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