President Obama to Barbara Walters: ‘I Don’t Think About Sarah Palin’

by | November 27, 2010 at 11:51 AM | TV News

Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama (ABC)

Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama (ABC)

Lately it seems like there isn’t a television show that President Barack Obama hasn’t, or wouldn’t, appear on to make nice with America.

From the pop culture fave ‘The Daily Show‘ (for his fifth time) to the female-centric ‘View‘ to the downright bizarre ‘Mythbusters‘ (Discovery Channel, Dec. 8), his television presence has been felt.

But in a move that might silence the critical mass giving him flack for his many TV interviews, President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s sit down with Barbara Walters Friday night in ‘A Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama,’ actually had a bit more substance than just finding out what he thinks of Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson and iPhones.

Preview President Obama On ‘Mythbusters’:

Sure there was the obligatory talk of pardoning a turkey (and, yes, a vice turkey too), the holidays, a visit with Bo the dog, and writing letters to Santa, but those warm and fuzzy moments aside, there were some burning questions asked by Babs, such as what he thinks of Sarah Palin and major pat downs at the airport. Below, the highlights from the special:

Barbara Walters: You may have heard that Sarah Palin told me just last week that she could beat you. If she ran, could she?
President Barack Obama: I don’t speculate on what’s going to happen two years from now. I’m right now focused on making sure that we’re doing everything we can to improve the economy and put people back to work. And if we’re doing that people will want to see a continuation of the progress that we’ve made. And if I don’t then it probably really won’t matter who’s running against me…

Barbara Walters: You will not tell me that you think you could beat Sarah Palin?
President Obama: What I’m saying is, I don’t think about Sarah Palin.

Was ’6o Minutes’ Right, Or Elitist, To Question Obama’s ‘View’ Visit?

Barbara Walters: On this holiday weekend, one of the questions that people are asking is, ‘Did we need the kind of pat down that we have had at the airport?’ What do you think? Has it gone too far?
President Obama: This is gonna be something that evolves, we are gonna have to work on it. Well, hopefully technologies will improve where there are other ways of approaching it. I understand people’s frustrations with it, but I also know that if you know, if there was an explosion in the air that killed a couple of hundred people…and it turned out that we could have prevented it possibly… that would be something that you know, well would be pretty upsetting to most of us — including me.

Barbara Walters: How do you feel when he’s attacked?
First Lady Michelle Obama: It’s not personal. You focus on the work. The country has the right and the responsible to critique their president. That’s part of the job. You take in what you need to and keep the stuff that doesn’t apply out and you keep working, every day.

Barbara Walters: There are some folks that say you squandered your political capitol with the health care plan when you should’ve been focusing on jobs?
President Obama: This notion that somehow you can only do one thing at once is simply not true. I mean, the fact is that we stabilized the financial system…we turned an economy that was contracting to one that was growing. We have added a million jobs over the last year to the economy. And I am absolutely confident that when we fully implemented health care, and we started to see those costs go down and we have seen people who don’t have health insurance get health insurance, and we have seen families who have health insurance more secure and they are not being jerked around by arbitrary rules from their insurance companies, that that’s gonna be a lasting legacy that I am extraordinarily proud of. And there is no contradiction between that and improving our economy.

Barbara Walters: Do your girls watch the news?
President Obama: They’ve got an option of watching the news or watching ‘SpongeBob.’ I think it’s pretty clear the choice that they’re going to make.

Barbara Walters: Are you sick of people talking about your toned arms? I noticed you’re not wearing a sleeveless dress.
Michelle Obama: No, I will never get sick of people talking about my toned arms. If it’s a positive compliment, I am a woman, just, like, bring it on. I’m cool with it. But no,  I still wear what I like and enjoy, and I thought this dress is pretty.

How do you think the President did on the special? Do you think his many TV appearances are effective in communicating with the public?