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Obama on "The Daily Show" Transcript.

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*This will air on the Daily Show this evening.*

JS: How are you, sir?

BO: I’m doing great. How’re you?

JS: Very well, thank you. Very well. How is the sojourn through Pennsylvania going? Are you just on a mad dash through the state in these final hours leading up to the Tuesday primary?


BO: It is a mad dash, but the people of Pennsylvania have been terrific and the weather’s been good and we think there’s gonna be high turn out. We’ve been seeing the same kind of enthusiasm and energy we’ve been seeing across the country.

JS: Today you did say you weren’t sure if you were going to win, but you started out what? About 20 points down in Pennsylvania?

BO: We started off twenty down. The polls are now showing us 6 to 8. We’re just kinda creeping along, but what we’ve been seeing is that folks are a lot more concerned now about the economy. They’re not talking as much about Iraq, but they see a connection between us spending $10 billion a month there and the lack of investment here at home. They’re concerned about the situation in terms of the housing market and the mortgage crisis. They know we‘ve got a lot of work to do. What they’re hoping for is some significant change in Washington. Hopefully enough…

JS: When you leave Pennsylvania, can you forget their concerns and move on to another state or are these people… Are they going to hound you now for the rest of the time? Because you’ve been there for six weeks. Most places you stop in, there’s a quick primary. In Montana, you show up for two hours. “Hey, how’s it going? Nice to see you. That’s a beautiful mountain.” These people probably have your email now.

BO: [laughs] You know the folks in Pennsylvania have gotten a lot of attention. They deserve the attention, just like the people in Iowa deserve the attention.

JS: Everybody you feel like in this whole country, the people you’ve met… You’ve had a chance to meet Americans throughout the land. Are we nice? What do you think?

BO: Yeah. You know, there’s a core decency and a generosity that actually makes you feel optimistic. Sometimes you feel less optimistic about the political process. Sometimes you don’t feel as optimistic about needing to bring the country together and the ability of folks to get past some of the old politics. But people have good instincts.

JS: That’s interesting because Senator Clinton’s sort of response to you is if you have not been vetted in the way that she has and that ultimately in a general election, the Republican attack machine, the big question was, they would just go crazy on you. Now that you have been attacked so much, the fear that in a general election the Republican attack machine wouldn’t have anything left to pick over. Is that a problem, do you think, for the Republican attack machine?

BO: [laughs] Well there’s no doubt that Senator Clinton has done me a favor. She’s put me through the paces. This has been like spring training, so should I get the nomination, I think everything is going to be old news by October.

JS: I’m going to cut through the spin for you, sir. This is what I’m here for. There’s a lot of insinuation amongst the pundits about these controversies. The Reverend Wright controversy, the flag pin controversy. By the way, I am wearing mine. It’s just pinned directly to my chest. I can tell you what the real concern is. You can answer this question right here, right now and put it all to bed.

BO: [laughs] Go ahead.

JS: Sir, we are concerned that ultimately at the end of the day, if you are fortunate enough to get the Democratic nomination, fortunate to become President of the United States, will you pull a bait-and-switch, sir, and enslave the white race? Is that your plan? And, if it is your plan, be honest. Tell us now.

BO: [laughs] That is not our plan Jon, but I think you’re paranoia might make you suitable as a debate moderator.

JS: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. We’re going to take a break. When we come back, we’ll talk about your plans for the future and some of other things. Thank you for joining us. We’ll be back with more of Senator Barack Obama.

COMMERCIAL

JS: We’re back with Senator Barack Obama. He joins us now from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sir, thanks for joining us. I want to ask you, do you think that the process of running for President is… correlates in any way with the job of being President? I keep wondering if the process we’re putting candidates through – and I think we have three impressive candidates this time – yourself, Senator Clinton and Senator McCain – is this like Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” where it just has no bearing on actual business? I keep wondering if the process is completely removed from being President.

BO: There are a couple things that the process does do. Number one, it lets you talk and listen to the American people. And so it does give you a sense of the country. I’ve campaigned in 47 states now, and spending that much time with people on the ground talking to them, listening to them, I think, does put you a better touch with what’s going on in the country and as I said, makes you a little more optimistic about the country.

JS: Have you seen a divide, they speak so much about the red-blue divide. You gave that speech at the Convention I guess in 2004 where you talked about…

BO: You know, I really haven’t. One of the striking things about the country is that people basically have the same hopes and dreams and the same attitudes about what they want for their kids and what they want for their lives, so that makes you optimistic, that’s one thing. The second thing is, it is true you’ve got to put up with a little stuff when you’re president. And as a candidate, you’re put through the paces and folks are throwing stuff at you JSuick and I think it does test how people handle stress, how they manage a big organization, and in that sense the America people probably get a pretty good sense of is this somebody who gets flustered under pressure, is this somebody who ends up having problems making decisions, or is this somebody who can stay steady in a crisis.

JS: Do you feel like you’ve run on a platform of change? Is it… you know, I keep thinking the Democrats are so set up this year to re-take the White House. Have they overshot their change agenda? Here we are, if they had just thrown out another boring old white guy, just put him out there. But they put yourself and Senator Clinton, two historic candidates. Too much change? Is it too much change for the American people? Will they be thinking then, oh my God, will gravity still be here? Are we able to digest this much change?

BO: What’s been interesting is watching how people have been responding all across the country. Not just on the democratic side. I think Independents, Republicans have been crossing over. We’ve been seeing higher registration rates in every state and higher turnout rates in every state in every state than any previous campaign that I can remember. I think we’re going to be just fine. The problem right now is that the party feels divided; we’ve got two strong candidates going at it. I’m confident though that when they take a look at John McCain’s agenda they’ll say there’s a big difference between where he wants to take the country and where Democrats want to take the country. I think that will serve us well in November.

JS: Do you have a concern that you could win the nomination at the Convention and defeat John McCain in the general and, you know, go to the inauguration and Hillary would still be running? Do you feel… Do you have any concern that Senator Clinton would continue the campaign?

BO: She is a formidable candidate. She is tough – she’s working hard out there and I respect her for it. I think hopefully I’ll be a stronger nominee as a conseJSuence of it.

JS: You’ve both been very impressive. I’ve watched the debates and enjoyed the things that have gone on. There’s only one last thing I want to do. There is something I find when you speak it is incredibly inspiring and brings a lot of hope. I’m just wondering. Those are your words, sir. You can bring hope with your words. Can you bring hope with nearly any words? If you could, I’d like you to “hope up” some of these very common phrases that people hear. “I’m calling to ask if you’re happy with your cell phone service.”

BO: I’m calling to find out if you’re happy with your cell phone service. [cheers and applause]

JS: Very good, sir. Here’s my final one. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Edie and the New Bohemian.” Hope it up.

BO: Ladies and gentlemen, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.

JS: I like it. Nicely done, sir.

BO: Thank you.

JS: That was a good touch. Senator Obama, you’re in Pittsburgh right now?

BO: I am.

JS: Can I make a quick recommendation?

BO: Go ahead.

JS: Pamonty Brothers, a crazy good little food place in Pittsburgh. They serve sandwiches with their potatoes inside. I played a couple of gigs there and ate there. Tremendous.

BO: I’m going to try it out.

JS: Thank you, sir. Senator Barack Obama. [cheers and applause]


5 Comments

Shameful performance from a comedian I used to have great respect for.

Oh--And WHY did Obama eschew the next debate (CBS)- - -Did he realize he'd face questions he should have dealt with before--finally?
And, his 'present' votes in IL on gun control do not seem to have done his city much good--double digits of shootings.
Politics as usual? This is WORSE politics. Harassing journalists (google Margaret Talev of McClatchey newspapers about what it was like for 'not nice' journalists at the Daily Show).
Free speech either matters.
Or it doesn't.

It's Primanti Brothers - a Pittsburgh tradition:
http://www.primantibrothers.com/

Whatever happened to Jon "No. I won't be your monkey." Stewart?
I realize he's not a journalist--but, he plays one on t.v.--and never forget he probably got a news show taken off the air.
But, ANY Could there be questions about the water MSNBC/GE nuke power plant builder is carrying for the “Senator” who got 300 G from Exelon after watering down a nuke reg bill in IL, voted for Dick Cheney’s 2005 Energy bill with 29 new nukes:
Look how they distorted the fingering of Hilary episode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTJs0VRJLO8
The above is the original 43 second plus IN ORDER and with the VOLUME UP as Obama mentions Hilary and fingers her.
When you open below, you’ll see a clip of MSNBC you can roll on.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200804180010
MSNBC took it OUT OF ORDER and potted down the volume of Obama mentioning Hilary—didn’t even leave the nat sound up on background but also had the anchor speaking over it. She LIED and says it “took a while to get to” the flip off. THEY ARE DISTORTING THE ORDER OF THE TAPE.
And then Jon Stewart, whom I normally respect, carried Obama’s dirty water last night, running the MSNBC version of the tape.
Was there a promise that Obama would be a regular on the show and help Comedy Central’s ratings if Jon aired the distorted version? And allowed Barack to call people calling this a finger flip ‘paranoid’?
It speaks to statesmanship.
And there's not a damn thing funny about it.
Sorry, Jon.

I have noticed that in the actual broadcast, Jon had Obama "Hope it up" quite a few phrases. Since then, those have disappeared from all the videos and transcripts I have seen from the show. I think Obama showed his cards a bit more than he wanted, and those segments of the video have conveniently disappeared! Can anyone else find the rest of the "Hope it up" segment?!

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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 21, 2008 10:15 PM.

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