In an exclusive interview with “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose set to air Sunday morning, President Barack Obama, accompanied by the First Lady, opened up and revealed what he considers to be the biggest mistake of his first term.
No, it has nothing to do with his policies, those were good, he explained.
Instead, Obama told CBS News he needs to do a better job “explaining” where his policies will take the country during his second term — having good policy just isn’t enough.
He would also like to do a better job of “inspiring” the American people in the next go round.
“The mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
He continued, “It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?” said Obama. “And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘well, you know, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism.”
Of the all criticisms hurled at President Obama, him not being a good enough “story” teller is not one that frequently tops the list.
“So getting out of this town – spending more time with the American people – listening to them and also and being in a conversation with them about where do we go together as a country,” Obama added. “I need to do a better job of that in my second term.”
“A better job of explaining,” asked Rose.
“Explaining but also inspiring,” Obama replied.
“Because hope is still there,” the First Lady added.
So there you have it. Obama, should he be elected to a second term, will try to sell his polices better to you, the voter, and make a conscious effort to be more “inspiring” — the campaign ad practically writes itself.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney released the following statement in response to Obama’s CBS interview:
“President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency.”
Watch a preview of the exclusive interview with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama via CBS here:
This story has been updated with additional information.