June 4, 2010

President Obama sat down for an interview with Larry King last night to talk about the situation in the Gulf and being President. I didn't realize today was the 500th day of his presidency, but some astute producer at CNN evidently did.

Here's an excerpt for Maureen Dowd:

KING: Some -- I know you -- you appear so calm.

Are you angry at BP?

OBAMA: You know, I am furious at this entire situation, because this is an example of where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions. And it is imperiling not just a handful of people, this is -- this is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for, potentially, years. So...

KING: Has the company felt your anger?

OBAMA: Well, they have felt the anger. But what I haven't seen as much as I'd like is the kind of rapid response.

Now, they want to solve the problem, too, because this is cost -- costing them a lot of money. And the one thing that I think is important to underscore is that I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people. But that's not the job I was hired to do. My job is to solve this problem. And, ultimately, this isn't about me and how angry I am. Ultimately, this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life?

And that's going to be the main focus that I've got in the weeks and months ahead.

Perspective is worth something.

On Israel, Gaza, and condemnation:

I think what's important right now is, is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out how can we meet Israel's security concerns, but at the same time start opening up opportunity for Palestinians, work with all parties concerned -- the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others -- and -- and I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we've worked through this tragedy -- and bring everybody together to figure out how can we get a two-state solution, where Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace and security.

On being President:

KING: A couple of other quick things, because I know we have a little bit of a time limit.

First, do you still like this job?

OBAMA: Well, this is the best job on earth. I mean it's a -- it's an extraordinary privilege to be able to wake up every day and know that you have the opportunity to serve the American people and -- and make their lives a little bit better or maybe it's the next generation's lives a little bit better. And...

I'm not sure there was a particularly good answer to that last question. What's he going to say, after all? Every morning he wonders what crisis is going to leap up and smack him upside the head today? Or does he wonder which nutcase will be out there with some new non-issue yammering about it on FOX News? As far as I'm concerned, I give him credit for getting up every morning and dealing with the constant drumbeat of a crisis here and a disaster there.

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