In an interview with the New York Times’ excellent Jeff Zeleny, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., says he’s not “measuring the drapes” for the Oval Office, and that “we don’t buy our own hype.”
He discussed the risks of his international tour, saying, “In terms of raw politics, in the short term there’s just as much downside as upside to a trip like this, even when it’s well-executed. People at home are worried about gas prices, they’re worried about mortgage foreclosures — and for a week they’re seeing me traipse around the world? It’s easy to paint that as somehow being removed from people’s day-to-day problems. We thought it was worth the risk.”
He added, “We’re in a very tight race, despite having a week of great press and John McCain having had a week of not-so-great press. If that doesn’t keep you on your toes, I don’t know what will.”
That said, Obama thinks this trip will serve a political purpose.
“Even if the economy ends up being the dominant issue in the election, when people go to the polling place in November, [they will] have in the back of their mind, all right, here’s what it looks like for Obama to be in discussions with other heads of state.”