Charles Gibson Interviews Barack Obama

GIBSON: If you already see that money coming in, it seems to me you're saying...

OBAMA: Well, but I also have to -- you know, my belief is John McCain is now the leader of his party and that he's got some control over this process, just as I have some control over the Democratic Party and how they spend their money.

GIBSON: Is the hardest part of all this behind you or ahead of you?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I think that Senator Clinton was as good of a candidate as I've seen, politically. And before that, we had probably as good of a field, in the Democratic field, with people like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, and John Edwards -- extraordinarily talented people.

So, you know, this has been a pretty good test. I mean, you know, we got taken through the paces on this one.

But, obviously, you know, what really matter is whether or not we ultimately change policy in the White House. And so, now is the time for the Democratic Party to be pulled together.

We're going to have a tough fight. John McCain is a formidable candidate. But the thing I'll say is that I know the hardest part's ahead of me, because it doesn't have to do with campaigning. It actually has to do with getting something done. It has to do with governing.

And when I think about what keeps me up at night, and what I'm spending a lot of time thinking about already, is how do we structure a government that works, that reflects the decency of the American people, that has strong debates around issues but is not so fiercely partisan that we can't ever get anything done?

And we've got big challenges. So, you know, how do you -- I've got a plan for creating universal health care, shepherding that through Congress so that I can actually sign a bill, then executing and implementing that.

You know, those are things that -- those are things that I worry about.

GIBSON: The picture of you in the paper, this morning, with your wife, watching the Clinton speech. What did you think of the Clinton speech?

She didn't exactly acknowledge your victory.

OBAMA: Well, look, this is a tough -- tough thing for all of us. You know, you go through 16, 17 months; you've made enormous sacrifices; maybe you've been planning this race even longer. And to, you know, come as close as Senator Clinton did and then not get the nomination, I think, is something that has to be processed.

But I think very highly of Senator Clinton and her commitment to making this country better. And so I'm confident that we're going to be unified come November.

GIBSON: And finally your daughters. What did they say to you? Did they take it as a matter of course that Daddy could be nominated to be president? They never knew what older people know in terms of discrimination, although they may still feel some. What did they say about that?

OBAMA: Well, it's interesting, Michelle had a conversation with Malia, who's our 9-year-old, soon to be 10-year-old, and Michelle brought up the subject. She said, "You know, Daddy's about to be nominated for the presidency, and he'll be the first African American ever to have that happen."

And Malia said, "Well, that doesn't surprise me. You know, I mean, I've read these histories about how blacks were discriminated against with slavery and Jim Crow," and she sort of ticked it off.

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