Jan. 18, 2009 — -- ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"
JANUARY 18, 2009
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST DAVID AXELROD, SR. ADVISER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA
[*] STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to a special inauguraledition of THIS WEEK.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 32ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Theonly thing we have to fear...
JOHN F. KENNEDY, 35TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask notwhat your country can do for you.
RONALD W. REAGAN, 40TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:Government is not the solution to our problem.
STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): As Barack Obama rolls intohistory...
OBAMA: What's required is a new declaration of independence.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We examine the challenges ahead with the nextpresident's closest adviser, David Axelrod.
Plus, an expanded Inauguration roundtable, with George Will,Donna Brazile, E.J. Dionne, Matthew Dowd, and Gwen Ifill.
And as always, the "Sunday Funnies."
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": Obama ismaking the trip three days early because it's Amtrak and even he onlyhas so much hope.
ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, THIS WEEKwith ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos,live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello, again. Barack Obama has been all overWashington these last two weeks. But the president-elect was formallywelcomed to the Capitol last night when his vintage trained pulledinto Union Station just before 7.
Obama began the day, Michelle Obama's 45th birthday inPhiladelphia. Stopped in Wilmington to pick up the Bidens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE-PRESIDENT ELECT JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR.: Happy birthday, kids!Welcome to Wilmington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Then they rolled slowly south, emulating AbeLincoln's Inaugural train ride and echoing Lincoln's words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: But appeal not to our easy instincts, but to our betterangels.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: The (INAUDIBLE) back showed the crowd's goodcheer, and they are not alone. A new ABC News poll out this morningshows that 80 percent of Americans approve of how Obama has handledthe transition. And 79 percent just like him.
The last incoming president with support like that was RonaldReagan in 1981. All that is happy news for our headliner thismorning, David Axelrod.
Welcome back to THIS WEEK.
AXELROD: Thanks, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're going into the White House on Tuesdaywith the public rooting for you.
AXELROD: Yes. I think the public is rooting for us, and moreimportantly, rooting for the country. We know -- I think everybodyknows we have big problems. I think the striking thing about yourpoll and all of the polling I've seen is this combination of optimismand realism.
People are hopeful about the future, but they understand we havereally serious problems.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I want to talk about how do you get thebalance right? Because as our poll -- as you say, people are prettyrealistic, also pretty upset. Ninety-four percent say the economy isin bad shape? That is as bad as we have ever seen?
AXELROD: I want to find the 6 percent who think it's in goodshape.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, exactly. But the president-elect in allof his policy speeches over the last couple of weeks keeps on sayingit's going to get worse before it gets better. What -- and obviouslythat's based on briefings. What exactly do you know and what shouldpeople expect?
AXELROD: Well, look, we -- obviously the reason that he camehere two weeks early was to begin work on an economic recoverypackage. But any economist will tell you that even if we moverapidly, it takes a little while for this to move through the systemand to put the brakes on what is the most serious economic downturnwe've had in many, many generations.