Transcript: Senior WH Adviser Valerie Jarrett

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you have a chance to talk to him about it and how do you think it will affect his decision-making?

JARRETT: I think that he is going to make the decision that he -- that he thinks is right for the American people. It certainly is a reminder of what is at stake. And you talk about 40,000 troops, behind every troop is a family. And it's a huge sacrifice that we're asking our men and women to make.

And I think going to Dover and showing respect on behalf of our country for that sacrifice was something that was very important to the president. But ultimately he is going to make the decision that he thinks is going to keep our country safe.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question, the president received both praise and criticism for doing that visit with television cameras there. Why was it important for the president to do that somewhat in public?

JARRETT: Well, he wouldn't have done it in public if the families had objected. So the first and foremost thing is what is important to the families. And I think that it's important for us all to recognize what is at stake. And so when you talk about numbers, like 40,000 troops, as I said a minute ago, I think it's a reminder about how deep the sacrifice is.

And it's something that's open and transparent, and it was a way for him as the president to convey to those families on behalf of the American people how much we appreciate that enormous sacrifice they've made.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Valerie Jarrett, thanks very much.

JARRETT: You're welcome. Good to see you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to go straight to the roundtable, so as our panelists take their seats, we have a little bookend to that election night excerpt we showed from President Obama. Gracious words from Senator McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), THEN-REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Senator Obama and I have and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help and lead us through the many challenges we face.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to go straight to the roundtable, so as our panelists take their seats, we have a little bookend to that election night excerpt we showed from President Obama. Gracious words from Senator McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: Senator Obama and I have and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help and lead us through the many challenges we face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: One year ago this week. With that, let me bring in our roundtable. I am joined as always by George Will; Ed Gillespie, counselor to President George W. Bush; Ron Brownstein of the National Journal; Dee Dee Myers, press secretary to Bill Clinton; and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Welcome to all of you.

And let me just begin with the threshold question. We're about a year out from the election. Has the president delivered on that promise of change?

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