Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet: Obama tells Ellen DeGeneres being president "is really cool."

| 13 Comments

AUSTIN, TEXAS--Barack Obama told Ellen DeGeneres that his poll numbers went up after he danced on her show....Day One as president would be "really cool" and chewing on the stop-smoking Nicorette "tastes like you’re chewing on ground pepper – but it does help."


click below for excerpts

from the Obama campaign...

Barack Obama did an interview with Ellen DeGeneres today. Below is the press release with excerpts sent out by Time Warner. Press contact information is included at the bottom.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres continues talking politics with the 2008 Presidential candidates when she chats with Senator Barack Obama during a live interview via satellite during an event at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, TX. This interview will air on Thursday, February 28, 2008 (check your local listings). Senator Obama discusses dancing, quitting smoking and what his first day in office would be like if he were to be elected. Ellen also asks about running a clean campaign and why he thinks people should vote for him.

On dancing

Ellen: …Hello, and the next question is: any new dance moves since I’ve been with you last?

Barack: I just want to say that we were kind of in a slump until I was dancing on the show – my poll numbers skyrocketed after that.

Everybody saw me bust a move on Ellen – that’s all it took.

On quitting smoking

Ellen: Alright, here’s the big question: Have you been able to not smoke when there’s so much pressure and so much stress – to try to do such a –it’s such a horrible, hard habit to break, and I know ‘cause I’ve struggled with it myself. Have you been able to stop?

Barack: I’ve been able to do it. I’ve been chewing on this Nicorette, which tastes like you’re chewing on ground pepper – but it does help.

And this was a deal-breaker for Michelle. I had been sneaking three cigarettes, four cigarettes a day for awhile, and she said if you’re going to do this you’ve got to stop – precisely because the stress was going increase, and it’ll just get worse. So that’s an example of my wife making me a better man once again.

On what his first day would be like if elected

Ellen: Wow, that’s great, that’s great. Now questions about politics. Hilary says that she is ready on day one. And you say you are ready on day one as well. So my question is, number one: are you ready? What is day one like? Do you wake up at eight? Do you get breakfast.? What’s your day one?

Barack: Well, first of all I think I’ll just go into the Oval Office and sit at the desk and say,”Wow, this is really cool.” Actually, the first day after I’m sworn in and I don’t know whether that counts as day one or not, I think the day after the inauguration if I were lucky enough to serve it would be to call in the joint chiefs of staff to really start talking about how do we get our troops out of Iraq in an honorable, careful, responsible way..I am a strong believer that we need to bring this war to an end.

On running a clean campaign

Ellen: Yes, I agree with that. Alright, and now everyone is saying this has been a clean campaign, as campaigns go, it’s been pretty clean…but let’s talk about the fliers in Ohio that Hillary says didn’t represent her properly. They misrepresent her. Did they? And, what do you say about that?

Barack: Well, obviously I think that they represented her position properly which is that she supported in the past NAFTA, which has been pretty hard on Ohio, and we’ve had an ongoing discussion about healthcare. Both of us want to provide healthcare to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy healthcare. She’d have the government force that every individual buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it. I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s (Hillary) tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy healthcare that I’m not insuring everybody. If things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t. But this is a philosophical disagreement that we have and it’s one that we’re going to continue to talk about. Overall though, as you said (Ellen), this has been a relatively clean campaign. I have enormous respect for Senator Clinton and I’m looking forward to working with her to make sure that Democrats win in November.

On why should people vote for Senator Obama

Ellen: Now here’s the thing. And, I’m sure you hear this. I really like you. I really like Hillary. And I think a lot of people feel the same way. I think that sometimes it’s a very clear-cut thing when you have two people running, you go, “I am absolutely for this person.” But I think a lot of people like both of you. So when you have people that like both of you, and are saying, “Look I’d be happy if either one of them won,” why vote for you?

Barack: Well, I think that we’re at a moment in history where, in order to solve big problems, to provide healthcare to people who really need it, to make college more affordable, to help families save a little bit of money for retirement…we’ve got to bring the country together. And I think I have a better chance at getting Democrats and Independents and Republicans to come together and put aside some partisan bickering that has been going on for a long time now that the Clintons were involved in.

Ellen: Well Senator Obama this has been a pleasure talking to you. I know you’re busy and you took time out and I appreciate it so very much. We’re going to play some music. I’m going to dance. If you hear the music, I hope you’re going to boogie a tiny bit. You said it helps.

(Music plays; Ellen and Barack dance)


13 Comments

Good to see Obama going on some hard hitting shows like Ellen. Ms. Sweet, since you seem to be fair when it comes to reporting on Obama, might you want to report on here what you know about Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, of the Weather Underground. I think it would be fascinating reading.

Jerry,
Give it up. Stop whining and come back in the house.


Dear Jerry,

Sorry, there isn't much more than what the right wing media (mainly FOX News) has already reported about the Bill Ayers issue. I know you are craving for some juicy dirt about Obama again, but there is none. Oh, you may try posting Obama’s picture in that so called "Muslim" dress again, or you call him by his middle name, Hussein a few times, just to satisfy your craving.

Obama has done an admirable job of speaking to all Americans, in various venues. He can talk policy on the "talking heads" shows, and he can be casual in a setting like the conversation with Ellen. It's just one more example of his ability to bridge the current divides that make unnecessary camps of "us" and "them" amongst what should "Americans."

To Jerry: As far as the question of Obama's "relationship" with William Ayers goes, if you are willing to do a little research, you will find that the man in question has donated the sum of $200 dollars to Obama's campaign - hardly a "questionable" amount. As to Dr. Ayers himself, he has fully repudiated the violent actions of his youthful involvement with the Weather Underground, and is an outspoken critic of terrorism and violent extremism in any form. He is also a highly respected professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In short, he seems to have learned from the mistakes of his past and to have spent the remainder of his life working to educate others so that they don't make similar mistakes. Perhaps instead of demonizing him in an attempt to tar Obama in a "guilt by association" smear, you could take some time to find out the truth.

Great question Jerry! I'll second that. I, too, read Lynn often. I am a Hillary supporter, however, I believe Lynn Sweet is one of a very few good and balanced reporters out there.

I live in a small mountain town, and was in our local mailing service office yesterday. All the buzz was about Obama and Ayers. A lot of people are paying attention to this.

Gee, I leave for two weeks and come back to see Jerry at it again.

Sorry, Jerry. Your constant attacks on Obama don't work to hide the fact that Hillary Clinton is the negative one who portrayed a 12-year-old girl as fantasizing about old men, the person whose 35 years of experience include 9 years as a first lady. I can take a vacation and come back and Obama's still doing well on his own.

Jerry,
Ms. Sweet has done a fine job, and I'm a republican.
She is one of my main sources for objective journalism. How long have you been reading this column?

Maybe you should read this.

Is it possible to take any more softball questions. Saturday Night Live recently did a great parady, where a reporter asks Obama questions more befitting a celebrity and Clinton got hard detail specific questions and critique. If you just want to be made to feel good about yourself go see an Anthony Robbins event, I'm afraid that isn't leadership befitting a president..and Robbins is even better at it! Staff, HealthcareReviews.com

Jan from Amherst, it's difficult to tell from a posting if you were being sarcastic, but I agree that Ms. Sweet does a good job reporting on politics. Just wanted to make that clear. I am also a republican and am feeling more confident every day that McCain will not only win, but might win big over Obama. You see, Obama's no longer a mystery. People are seeing what his views are and who he associates with because the liberal media can only cover for him for so long. To Ted from a small town, keep spreading the word about this fraud Obama to others in your town, and I will do the same here in the big city. Most people don't follow the issues very closely, and therefore have no idea how disasterous and dangerous an Obama Presidency would be. BTW, someone please answer for me how a far left, out of the mainstream liberal like Obama would "bring the country together". The types of politicians who bring people together are moderates, not far left or far right partisans. And if you judge Obama by his record, and not his rhetoric, you will see he is not even close to being moderate.

On day one he pictures himself sitting at the Oval office desk and saying "Wow, how cool". If Obama does become the president, he is going to have a rude awakening. It will not be quite as pleasant. He probably won't have a second to himself on day one (except when he goes to bathroom).

I honestly had no idea Ellen still had a show. Ellen has always come off as one of those politically correct gay entertainers committed to nothing so as to never rock the boat again, particularly after her coming out on ABC got her cancelled. Any who, an Obama appearance must have been a real ratings raiser for her show. Although, I can't really see where guesting on Ellen did a whole lot for Obama's campaign. It ain't like Ellen is Melissa Etheridge or Dan 'Savage Luv' Savage. Like I said, few have heard that much from her since she last hosted the Oscars.

To Jerry, this report has nothing to do with William Ayers or Weather Underground. You were amply queued to exude your most sexist bigotry for the GLBT community. Pay attention. I think Ms. Sweet was pretty clear with her hints in the title - Obama was talking to Ellen while dressed in a regular suit sans a lapel pin about how cool being the leader of the free world is. No turbin or ceremonial elders' robes. No medrassas. No Korans. No Pastor Jeremiah Wright. No Exelon. And, not a word about the weather or your Williams Ayers, 'kay? You might want to keep up a little better with the political discourse about the junior senator from Illinois who will be your President in November 2008.

That's right, pa'tna'! Yea, getteth thee the hell over it, Jerry! Gobama 2008!

To Jerry and Great question Jerry!

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. And that goes for you too Senator Hilary.

Memo to "Rage":
Your name is very appropriate. Please go over to Huff Post where your rage will be appreciated by the other haters.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

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

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 28, 2008 8:22 AM.

Sweet: Obama tapes Ellen Degeneres show was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: News to them--Obama, McCain tangle over Iraq. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.