Obama, on 'The View,' Discusses the 'Roses' and 'Thorns' of the Presidency

Visits ABC's 'The View,' becoming first sitting president on daytime talk.

ByABC News
July 27, 2010, 4:04 PM

July 28, 2010 -- Unlike most guests who come to ABC's "The View," President Obama does not have a new movie, album or reality show to promote.

Instead, he's promoting himself and his agenda, sitting in the hot seat of the daytime talk show in an effort, once again, to go beyond the traditional media filter and speak directly to the American people, especially women.

Obama's Thursday appearance was taped today and will be his third on the show. It is his first as president -- indeed it is the first appearance of any sitting president on a daytime TV talk show.

In an exclusive preview clip that aired on "World News" tonight, Barbara Walters asked the president what the recent high and low points of his time in office had been.

"In the last month what has been the rose and what has been the thorn?" she asked, referring to an Obama family tradition of taking stock of their lives.

"In the last month the rose has to be a couple of days we took in Maine with Michelle, Sasha and Malia," he said. "They're full of opinions and ideas and observations and it's just a great age ... Malia just turned 12 and Sasha 9. Couldn't been a better couple of days."

Asked what the "thorn" had been, the president answered with his own question.

"Where do I begin?" he asked, getting a laugh from the audience.

"Obviously the country has gone through a tough stretch. Since I took office when I was sworn in ... the last 20 months have been a nonstop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure we are creating jobs and not losing them."

Obama also cited the BP oil spill and battling the H1N1 swine flu "pandemic" as recent thorns.

So why sit down with "The View's" feisty and opinionated five hosts in the first place?

"I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched, and so I thought this is it, right here," he said. "All those new shows, she's like, eh, let me get the clicker."

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the decision was made to put the president on "The View" because it provides an opportunity "to talk to people where they are."

"People have busy lives and it's best to go where they are," Gibbs said.

Even with several big-ticket agenda items earning the presidential signature and becoming law, it has been a rough couple of months for the Obama White House, with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico dominating the agenda and Americans growing more frustrated with the struggling economy.

The president's approval ratings have hit new lows, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Nearly six in 10 Americans say they lack confidence in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a majority doubts his handling of the economy.

The ABC daytime program is unique because it is hosted by five women and its audience skews heavily female -- a voting group that has trended Democrat and went for Obama 56-43 over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election.

As Obama's overall approval ratings have dropped, he also has lost support from women, from a high of 72 percent support in February 2009 when he was still glowing from the presidential campaign and inauguration to an approval of 51 percent today.

Obama's support among men is in the same range -- 49 percent approval today compared to 64 percent in February 2009.