Transcript: Alan Greenspan

The president and first lady went to Copenhagen and gave little speeches about themselves. She, Mrs. Obama, used the first person singular pronoun, in some form or other, "I" or "me," 16 -- 34 times in 16 paragraphs. He used it 23 times in 13 paragraphs It was all about them. And the danger is, an adjective sooner or later attaches to presidents. Honest Abe, Tricky Dick Nixon. All kind of adjectives. The danger to the president is that vain is going to attach to him. COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS ANALYST: Well, I mean, he was going for Chicago. And I just thought of this. But the truth is, he should have used some Chicago smarts before he went. You know, you don't go into an election that you don't know the outcome of in Chicago. And he should have never...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A damning indictment of Chicago, but go ahead.

ROBERTS: I'm in Louisiana. We have similar sorts of things. And the -- the idea that he would, as the president of the United States, go to Copenhagen without knowing that the IOC was going to -- didn't -- he didn't have the votes. And not only did he not have the votes; he had the fewest votes of anybody. I mean, that is a bad political...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I mean, that's a surprise, that they were last.

ROBERTS: ... just a terrible political judgment to make. KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, "THE NATION": Those guys lived (inaudible) the roads (ph). They would have blamed if he -- blamed President Obama if he hadn't gone. You know, three contrarian points. One, I think this -- the Olympics have come graft and corruption. Ordinary majority of Chicagoans were opposed to the Olympics coming to their city. They saw it as a boondoggle for Mayor Daley or for the elite of Chicago.

And I think in the end, Obama's lucky. Because if Chicago had gotten the Olympics, every scandal, every overrun, every sign of corruption would have been Obama's fault. It would have stuck to him. And third, the larger point, one George will disagree with, is the big trip he needs to take to Copenhagen, and he needs to go now, is the one that starts at the beginning of December, the U.N. summit on climate change, the highest environmental stakes we're...


VANDEN HEUVEL: ... for Obama to go to in Copenhagen. MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: To me, and I don't agree with the Republicans who said he couldn't do his job and fly over to Copenhagen. STEPHANOPOULOS: ... President Obama.

DOWD: A president can do that anywhere. Any president can do that from Air Force One. My feeling about this is, is that political capital is limited. It's like a cup of water, a cup of coffee. And every time you take a sip out of it and use it, there's less of it there. And at a time when needs the political capital he can get to do health-care reform, to try to fix the economy, to deal with Afghanistan, all of those things, he takes a trip, which in the end, it turns out to be a folly of a trip. I don't think he's humiliated. But it raises serious questions in my mind, whether they really understand the limits on political capital. Or whether, as George says, they think they can just throw pixie dust of President Obama on anything and fix it.

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