When President Obama walked into the Roosevelt Room a little before noon today, he looked more rested than I expected. No need for a late night, Obama explained, he saw the election loss that will change the course of his Presidency coming a week ago.
Unruffled, the President was not in apology-mode. I pressed him on what's gone wrong — Kennedy's seat, health care, his failure to heal the partisan breach as promised — and Obama did concede some "mistakes" (mostly failures to communicate). But the President expressed no second thoughts on the fundamental strategic and policy decisions of his first year.
Including health care. The President's message? He had to try and he won't give up. But even though Obama wasn't waving the white flag yet, it's pretty clear he's preparing to sue for peace. No Senate action before Scott Brown is seated, and Obama's not going to insist that the House pass the Senate bill. He'll take whatever he can get — preferably with Republican support — as long as he can get it fast.
Most remarkable was the President's several minute long summary of the most "packed" and "fulfilling" year of his life. Alternately regretful and defiant, frustrated and hopeful, it's Obama at his most reflective and revealing.
Take a look:
More of my interview tonight on World News with Diane Sawyer, a special edition of Nightline and of course, tomorrow on Good Morning America.