ABC’s resident Clinton insider George Stephanopoulos kicked off a special edition of This Week on Sunday with what he billed as President Barack Obama’s “exit interview.” As would be expected, the entire hour show was dedicated to their conversation with much of it set up to help Obama frame his legacy. But the interview started out slow with Stephanopoulos asking fluffy questions about life in the White House, “We're walking toward your office. I have to think you're going miss the short commute.”
The president gave a chuckle and told Stephanopoulos that it was one of “biggest benefits” to the job most people don’t think about. “I have never had to travel more than 30 seconds from home to office,” Obama continued to joke.
The next question from the former Bill Clinton White House staffer was a real burner, “How long did it take for the White House the feel like home, though?” Having little kids to tuck in at night helped, according to Obama, and of course, “Not to mention having a mother-in-law upstairs.”
As both liberals walked and talked, they made their way down the west colonnade. “This part of the White House is so iconic,” Stephanopoulos blurted out, teeing up Obama to ramble:
BARACK OBAMA: It’s my favorite. This walk. It -- it doesn't matter what time of day it is. In some ways, I feel more attached to this walk even than the Oval Office,” the president stated looking out over the lawn.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe it.
OBAMA: Yeah, there's something about these steps and thinking about everybody who has walked here. And all the business that's been done here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And business gets done on this walk.
OBAMA: Yes, exactly … That reverence that you feel for the place never entirely leaves.
Stephanopoulos allowed Obama to pontificate about the work that his team put together, their long hours, and the relationships he’s made. “I also had a lot of young people who came in here,” Obama noted, “This probably you know echoes with you in your own experience. You were young when you got here.” “Didn't feel like it when I left,” Stephanopoulos replied.
The whole interview was filled with similar slow pitched questions designed to let Obama control the message. The show was broken up into segments with titles such as: “Obama’s Challenge to GOP on Health Care,” “How has Obama Changed America,” and one segment was honestly titled “The President Defends His Agenda.” ABC has often glowed about Obama during his time in office, and seem to be relishing the last few precious moments of it.