Jan. 20, 2010— -- President Obama said today that he believes he lost a direct connection to the American people in his first year in office because he focused too heavily on policymaking.
"If there's one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values," Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview at the White House.
The president said he made a mistake in assuming that if he focused on policy decisions, the American people would understand the reasoning behind them.
"That I do think is a mistake of mine," Obama said. "I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we're making a good rational decision here, then people will get it."
Instead, the president said the American people ended up with a "feeling of remoteness and detachment" from the policymakers in Washington who are making big decisions.
"I think, you know, what they ended up seeing is this feeling of remoteness and detachment where there's these technocrats up here making decisions. Maybe some of them are good, maybe some of them aren't, but do they really get us and what we're going through?" he said.
Obama said he felt he could do a better job connecting to the American people in his second year in office.
"I think that I can do a better job of that, and partly because I do believe that we're in a stronger position now than we were a year ago," he said.