Obama Unplugged but Highly Edited

Nov 22, 2011 6:36pm

Obama for America wants to offer a glimpse of President Obama ”unplugged” in a new, highly produced, eight-minute reality TV-style video that documents Obama’s  dinner with four campaign volunteers on Oct. 27.

In “Behind the Scenes: Dinner With Barack,” posted on the campaign’s blog,  Obama is seen engaging in casual and candid conversation over burgers and wine at Liberty Tavern in Clarendon, Va.

And while the spot is clearly part of a political strategy to portray the president as a sincere and sensitive man of character, it is also notable for the details Obama reveals about his daily life.

“My usual schedule is – I’m not a morning guy. I’m more like a late-night guy. So I’ll wake up at 7. I’ll go up to the gym, get down to the office by about 9. Then basically from 9 to 6:30 it is just packed. Nonstop,” he says when asked about a typical day.

“At 6:30, even if I’m really busy, I stop. Go upstairs. I’ll have dinner with the girls and I’ll just spend time with them, probably until about 8. And then basically I use from 8 to midnight, 1 – that’s when I’m doing a lot of writing.”

Does he get roused from his sleep often, one of the volunteers asks?   

“Yep, you get those calls,” Obama said. “The last one of those I got was the Fukushima, when the tsunami hit. I think it was probably three in the morning.”

The conversation turned personal and reflective when one of the attendees asked Obama about the impact of not growing up with his father around.  

“As I look back, I only remember my father for one month my whole life when I was 10. And it wasn’t until much later in life that I realized he gave me my first basketball and it was shortly thereafter that I became this basketball fanatic. And he took me to my first jazz concert, and it was shortly thereafter that I became interested in jazz music,” he said.

“So what it makes you realize is how much of an impact – even if it’s only a month – that they have on you,” he added, referring to his father.

“But I think probably the most important thing was his absence contributed to me wanting to be a good dad. Because I think not having him there made me say to myself, I want to make sure my girls have somebody they can rely on.”

Later, Obama turned reflective on his presidency and the challenges or running for re-election.

“One of the things I’ve learned about myself in this job is that I’m pretty persistent,” he said. “When you look at history, I try to remind people, Brown v. Board of Education was 1954. You didn’t get the Voting Rights Act until 1965. And the same is true of anything worthwhile. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Watch the entire video HERE.

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