Sweet blog special: Excerpts--Obama on Letterman.

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Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) tells David Letterman that having long-shot Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the primary contest "spices things up" as he tells the late night host he's not in the race to be Hillary Rodham Clinton's running-mate. Letterman tries to play match-maker in lining up an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket.

Letterman: “But you know what I’m getting to, people will say, they say, ‘Oh well, this is Barack Obama’s – he’s only been a senator for two years, so maybe we’re looking at some sort of a compromise on the ticket. Maybe he’ll be the Presidential candidate, Hillary might be the vice president, maybe the reverse of that. Any of that occur at this point or not?”

Obama: “No, you don’t run for second. I don’t believe in that, yeah.”

excerpts from CBS....

2008 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SEN. BARACK OBAMA ON THE “LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN,” MONDAY, APRIL 9

Letterman: “The Democratic party for the last two campaigns has not does done as well as it would like. I mean, finishing second in that campaign doesn’t – “

Obama: (laughs) “It’s not horseshoes.” (audience laughs)

Letterman: “No, but now, all of a sudden, we have a tremendous roster of potential candidates.”

Obama: “Great candidates.”

Letterman: “Yes, a high profile of powerful, well-respected individuals. Yourself and Hilary Clinton are two that come to mind. Is having those well known, those highly qualified desirable candidates running for the nomination, is that healthy for the party?”

Obama: “I think it is good. We’ve got terrific candidates, not just myself and Hillary. You’ve got John Edwards, who’s run a terrific campaign so far; Bill Richardson, a terrific governor; I’ve got a couple of colleagues, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich from Congress, and so we’ve got a great collection of candidates.”

Letterman: (laughs) “Now, you’re kidding about Kucinich, right?” (audience laughs)

Obama:: “ No, no, you know, he, uh, he spices things up, you know. He has that devil-may-care-attitude that I think is healthy for a presidential race.”

Letterman: “But you know what I’m getting to, people will say, they say, ‘Oh well, this is Barack Obama’s – he’s only been a senator for two years, so maybe we’re looking at some sort of a compromise on the ticket. Maybe he’ll be the Presidential candidate, Hillary might be the vice president, maybe the reverse of that. Any of that occur at this point or not?”

Obama: “No, you don’t run for second. I don’t believe in that, yeah.”

Letterman: “But that would be a powerful ticket. Undeniably that would be a powerful ticket.”

Obama: “Which order are we talking about?” (audience roars with laughter; Obama, Dave, laugh; audience applauds)

Letterman: “Let’s say you’re the presidential candidate and Hillary is the vice presidential candidate. Now, if she were sitting here, it would be different than that, but – “ (audience laughs; Obama laughs)

Obama: “I have terrific respect for Hillary. She’s a terrific senator. She does a great job for New York. “

Letterman: “Right, but that’s what I’m saying. Is there any thought to that in – I mean, is it unspoken? Is it discussed at all or is it only the kind of thing people like to write about and talk about on TV?”

Obama: “You know, I think all the candidates are in to win and one of the things about the process is by the end of it, after having gone through all the debates and all the campaigning out in various states, people get a pretty good sense of who various candidates are and, but I think we’re all on the same team. We’re all Democrats. I think most of us want to see a healthcare system that provides coverage to everybody. Most of want to see an education system that gives opportunity to every kid. All of us think that we’ve got to start getting our troops out of Iraq, and so really what we’re doing is we’re trying out for quarterback…”

* * *

Letterman: “And things are going well for you? Your family’s doing well? Enjoying the campaign?”

Obama: “Family is doing great. I take my kids occasionally. Melia who’s 8, Sasha who’s 5 – we take them on the campaign trail and they see these big crowds. I ask them sometimes, ‘How’s it going?” and the last time I did that, my 8-year old turned to me and said, ‘This is terrific daddy, but what are we doing here again?’” (Dave, audience laughs) “She wasn’t overly, she wasn’t overly impressed.”

Letterman: “I think it’s a question every candidate perhaps will ask at one time or another.”

* * *

Letterman: “Jeez, it’s great to see you here again. And perhaps you’ll come back between now – I mean, good lord, it’s still two years away, more or less?”

Obama: “It is, it is.”

Letterman: “It’s a long, long terrible grind.” (audience laughs)

Obama: “You know, they give out these keychains that have a countdown on how many days are left in the Bush administration, which I used to think was really funny until I realized that’s how long I have to campaign.” (Obama, Dave, audience laugh) “It’s wasn’t funny anymore.”

Letterman: “It’s a lot of work, isn’t it?”

Obama: “Yeah, yeah.”

Letterman: “And can you still be an effective senator when you’re campaigning?”

Obama: “So far I’ve only missed three votes and, you know, my staff is doing a terrific job making sure that we’re tending to constituents back home, but I’m not getting back to Chicago very often, which my wife is starting to refer to me as her first husband.” (audience laughs) “It’s a little disturbing.”

Letterman: (laughing) “Whoa, whoa.”

Obama: “It’s a little troublesome. I’ve got to spend more time there.”


8 Comments

I'm really really really trying not to be contrary about this Obama mania that you guys in the media seem addicted to. Please tell me why this took up an entire column, come on Lynn Sweet you're better than this. It's getting to the point I have to take Dramamine just to read the papers. When are you guys going to stop fawning all over this guy, next I know you'll declare a holiday when we find out he's potty trained (he is, isn't he)

Senator Obama is right! It is "a little troublesome" him not being in Chicago. Or at least Illinois! You know the state he was hired to serve in the U.S. Senate.

I wish I could search for a new job and continue to receive the salary from my current employer. But then there are rules for the politicians and others for the rest of us. And you all thought he was a different kind of politician. Nope not a chance!

Obama:: “ No, no, you know, he, uh, he (Kucinich) spices things up, you know. He has that devil-may-care-attitude that I think is healthy for a presidential race.”

But the Obama/Clinton/Edwards campaigns fear that participation with Kucinich and others in the Congressional Black Caucus/Fox News debates may cause illness.

go obama go!

I am so happy that the senator thinks his staff is "tending to constituents back home". I am still waiting for a reply to my numerous requests for a clarification of Senator Obama's amendment to the Bacon-Davis Act. My initital request was in August of 2006.

At this point, just let the senator get elected president. It appears he doesn't want to be a senator any longer. Between promoting his books and running for higher office, he just doesn't have time for the people of Illinois. Maybe as president he will notice us!

Letterman has been making fun of Kucinich almost daily when he polls higher than Biden and Dodd and polled higher than Hillary in the Democrats For America poll. why single out Kucinich to make fun of. I think Letterman owes it to the public to have Kucinich on his show instead of just make fun of him.

Oooooh-ba-ma !!!

to lars: Letterman will not have Kucinich on. Have you ever heard Kucinich? He's SMART. And nobody owns like the others....I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I'd say the ticket is going to be Clinton-Richardson, when its all said and done.

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Lynn Sweet

<Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 9, 2007 6:49 PM.

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