'This Week' Transcript: Barack Obama

OBAMA: Every time you read that second inaugural, you start getting intimidated, especially because it's really short. You know, there's a genius to Lincoln that is not going to be matched. People then point to Kennedy's inauguration speech. Sorenson and Kennedy together did an extraordinary job. Some of the others are not as inspiring.

STEPHANOPOULOS: To say the least.

OBAMA: And so, I think that the main task for me in an inauguration speech, and I think this is true for my presidency generally, is to try to capture as best I can the moment that we are in it. I mean, I think that when you have a successful presidential speech of any sort, it's because that president is able to say -- is able to put their finger on here's the moment we're in. This is the crossroad that we're at. And then to project confidence that if we take the right measures that we can once again be that country, that beacon for the world.

And so, my focus is to try to be able to describe in simple, plain terms what are the challenges we face, but then also to let people know I have every intention of working with the American people so that we meet those challenges.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I just have a couple more questions.

OBAMA: Sure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've been without a worship community now for about a year. Do you miss it?

OBAMA: I do and it's been a difficult time. Now, I've got a wonderful community of people who are praying for me every day, and they call me up and -- you know, but it's not the same as going to church and the choir's going and you get a good sermon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, do you have a church here in Washington?

OBAMA: Not yet. And so, one of the things that Michelle and I will be doing is probably visiting some churches and seeing what's comfortable. It is tougher as president. You know, this is not just an issue of going to church, it's an issue of going anywhere. You don't want to subject your fellow church members, the rest of the congregation, to being magged every time you go to church. And so, we're going to try to be balancing, not being disruptive to the city, but also saying we want to be part of Washington D.C.

But one of the things that I don't like historically about Washington is the way that you've got one part of Washington, which is a company town, all about government, and is generally pretty prosperous. And then, you've got another half of D.C. that is going through enormous challenges. I want to see if we can bring those two Washington D.C.s together.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Also, your girls started school this week. How'd the first week go?

OBAMA: They seemed to thrive. I'm trying to figure out why it is that they don't seemed to be fazed by anything. People think -- you know, folks think I'm cool, they are a lot cooler than I am. They just don't seem to be intimidated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I got to tell you, you know, they're out touring the museum right now, I heard they were taken straight to the first dog exhibit and while you were getting made up, they went into the control room and played director and producer. And they actually gave me a question they want me to ask you. You know exactly what it's going to be.

OBAMA: Uh-oh. Go ahead.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What kind of a dog are we getting and when are we getting it?

OBAMA: The -- they seem to have narrowed it down to a labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A medium sized.

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