After his half hour Obama Infomercial this evening (Wednesday), Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
No matter what you think of Obama, he can take a joke, and can give as good as he gets.
Videos below + full transcript.
Jon Stewart: My guest tonight is a United States Senator representing the great state of Illinois. He is also the Democratic nominee for president. Joining us now via satellite from Sunrise, Florida, please welcome back to the program, Senator Barack Obama. Senator, nice to see you
Barack Obama: Hi, Jon.
Jon Stewart: How are you, sir? Hold on one second. I’m sorry. He’s not actually here. He’s on the satellite. Our audience very excited, sir. Clearly our show is not a swing show, if you will. Thank you so much for taking the time. How are you holding up? How are things going?
Barack Obama: You know, I’m doing great. We are now counting down every single day. And, you know, the crowds are terrific. And you know, I think we’ve got a good shot at this thing.
Jon Stewart: Where are you right now?
Barack Obama: I am in Fort Lauderdale, and we are going to have a rally tonight, and actually, we’re going to go to Orlando. We have an 11:00 p.m. rally with William Jefferson Clinton which I think is going to be terrific.
Jon Stewart: William Jefferson Clinton and you in Florida. Now, I know Florida, many of my people go there to retire. You might want to hold the rally early. They don’t like to miss their shows at night or the early-bird special at the diner. So, whatever you can….
Barack Obama: No comment on that, Jon. I’m trying to win Florida.
Jon Stewart: What a wise man. I thought that at this point, you would be doing sort of a four corners offense, playing kind of a delay game, but you really are going at it. Tell me about this half-hour special that aired earlier tonight. What is this?
Barack Obama: Well, this is the Obama infomercial. I’ll tell you a quick story. We’re buying time on a lot of the stations. I was describing this to Michelle and my daughters, and Malia who is ten, she said “Hold up a second. Are you saying my programs are going to be interrupted?” I said no we didn’t buy on Disney. She was relieved, but for everybody else who wants to watch, they’re going to have a chance to take a look at not just sort of a pitch for me but really what we try to do is tell a story about what’s happening in families all across America. We’ve got four families that we feature. All of them have great hopes, but all of them are struggling too. We want to talk about what the next four years would mean for them.
Jon Stewart: Will it annoy us? Or will we like it? Afterwards, will we think, did he just sell me a Shamwow? What the hell just happened? Or will we feel comforted and, you know….
Barack Obama: I hope what people will come away with, I hope they’ll say to themselves you know what? This election is really important. These families that have been featured remind me of either myself or people I that know. I hope they’ll have a better sense of exactly what I want to do as president. That’s all you can do. At this stage, everything that needs to be said has probably been heard by a lot of voters. What you want to do is remind them one more time. Here’s what I’m going to do, not oversell, let people make up their minds. That’s how democracy works.
Jon Stewart: So much of this has been about fear of you. An elitist, a celebrity, a Muslim terrorist sympathizer. A Socialist, a Marxist, a witch. That’s right. They’ve been calling you a witch. They’re saying if you do win, is that a mandate for Socialism in this country? Has any of this fear stuff, do you think it’s stuff with the electorate? Are you finding that on the trail?
Barack Obama: You know, it just hasn’t. I mean, I think, there’s a certain segment of hard-core Sean Hannity fans that probably wouldn’t want to go have a beer with me, there’s no doubt about that. But I think for the average voter, they’re saying to themselves, what’s all this stuff about? I’m trying to figure out whether I can hang on to my house or who is going to help me get a job or what about my health care, my premiums have doubled over the last couple of years. So I don’t think that they’re paying too much attention to this stuff. And the whole Socialism argument that doesn’t fly too well. The evidence of this seems pretty thin. I said today that I think they found proof that when I was in kindergarten I shared some toys with my friends. That’s clearly a sign that of subversive activity now, I can tell you, Jon, that being on your program I think is further evidence of these tendencies.
Jon Stewart: (laughing). The polls have you up but then they keep talking about this Bradley Effect this idea that white voters when they go to the polls, they’ll tell pollsters they’re going to vote for an African-American but they won’t actually do it.
Barack Obama: Yeah, they’ve been saying that for a while. We’re still here. I don’t know. I don’t think white voters have gotten this memo about the Bradley Effect.
Jon Stewart: are you concerned in some respects, you know, and I don’t even know how to bring this up. Obviously your mother is from Kansas. She’s a white woman. Your father, African. Are you concerned that you may go into the voting booth and….
Barack Obama: I won’t know what to do.
Jon Stewart: Your white half will all of a sudden decide, “I can’t do this.”
Barack Obama: That’s a problem.
Jon Stewart: What is it?
Barack Obama: I said it’s a problem.
Jon Stewart: (laughing).
Barack Obama: I’ve been going through therapy to make sure that I vote properly on the 4th.
Jon Stewart: I think that’s wise. Are you, you know, you and Senator McCain have run such a tough race. Is it possible, do you think, in this day and age for you two to be, to like each other afterwards, to be collegial? Do you feel like you would offer him a spot in your administration or he would do the same for you? I mean, what’s that relationship like now?
Barack Obama: Well, look, there’s no doubt that it gets tense in the middle of a campaign. But I’ve said it before. I admire Senator McCain’s service to our country. He is a genuine war hero. And, you know, I hope that after the election, however way it turns out, that we can work together because some of the problems we’re talking about are ones that we’re not going to be able to solve with one party just trying to dictate a solution to the problems. You look at something like global warming, that’s really an “all hands on deck” kind of situation. If we don’t get everybody on board, conservative hawks who are worried about us buying oil from the Middle East, tree huggers and environmentalists who are worried about, you know, the polar bears, bringing all those folks together and saying everybody’s got a legitimate point of view. Let’s figure out how to solve the problem. That’s the kind of attitude we’re going to need going forward.
Jon Stewart: With the kind of issues that face the country now…. (applause) oh, they’re applauding. Very interesting. They’re applauding a spirit of cooperation, which I actually find that to be a rather angry bitter group in this audience.
Barack Obama: Not very funny cooperation.
Jon Stewart: No, that’s nice. Is there a sense that you have, you know, two years ago when you began this journey, the country was not necessarily in the shape it’s in now. Is there a sense that you don’t want this? (Obama laughs) you may look at the country and think, you know, when I thought I was going to get this it was a relatively new car. Now look at it!
Barack Obama: You know, I actually think this is the time to want to be president. If you went into public service thinking that you could have an impact, now is the time where you could have an impact. We tend to be a pretty conservative country. I don’t mean conservative politically per se, but conservative in the sense that, you know, things are kind of going along pretty well and we don’t want to mess with it too much. And then every once in a while you have these big challenges and big problems. It gives an opportunity for us to really move in a new direction. I think this is one of those moments on things like energy and health care and the economy and education where I think people recognize what we’ve been doing isn’t working.
Jon Stewart: A serious moment.
Barack Obama: I think people will be more open to change.
Jon Stewart: Sir, we definitely appreciate you being on the program tonight. We know what a long haul it’s been. You’ve certainly run a remarkable and historic race. I have great admiration for both you and Senator McCain, and I wish you well. Thank you so much for joining us.
Barack Obama: Great to be with you, Jon. Thank you.
Jon Stewart: Senator Barack Obama. We’ll be right back.