Monday, December 08, 2008

Excellent Obama On Meet The Press

President-elect Barack Obama sat down for a lengthy interview with Tom Brokaw on Meet The Press yesterday and, as I have experienced many times since election day, I just couldn’t help but feel so damn happy that we're once again going to have an intelligent, well-studied person in the Oval Office. Obama doesn’t need talking points and note cards to get through a long, wide-ranging interview and he sounds more presidential before he even assumes office than George W. Bush has at any point in the last eight years.

More than that, Obama is honest and straightforward about issues like helping the Big-Three automakers out of their self-induced crisis, saying "I think that the Big Three U.S. automakers have made repeated strategic mistakes."

"They have not managed that industry the way they should have, and I've been a strong critic of the auto industry's failure to adapt to changing times -- building small cars and energy efficient cars that are going to adapt to a new market," said the President-elect. "And if they expect taxpayers to help in that adjustment process, then they can't keep on putting off the kinds of changes that they, frankly, should have made 20 or 30 years ago. If, if they want to survive, then they better start building a fuel-efficient car."

And middle-class families continue to see that Obama wasn't just playing to them to get elected as he returns to the tough times faced by American families in most answers he gives on the economy. When Brokaw asked Obama about whether it's time to jack the price of gas way up again via hefty taxes to discourage consumption and force conservation, Obama said it was not and gave this reason:
"Well, keep, keep in mind what's happening to families all across America. Yes, gas prices have gone down. But, in the meantime, maybe somebody in the family's lost their job. In the meantime, their housing values have plummeted. In the meantime, maybe their hours have been cut back.

"Or if they're a small-business owner, their sales have gone down 50, 60, 70 percent. So putting additional burdens on American families right now, I think, is a mistake."
So in addition to standing by working families in this way, reinforcing that the tax cuts he promised for the middle class are indeed coming and telling Brokaw he still has not changed his tune on ending the Iraq war (beginning the day he assumes the presidency), Obama continues to sound like the guy we've been waiting for in the White House.

You can watch the entire Meet The Press interview here of read the transcript here.