Stephen Colbert came back to his show, tired and exhilarated, still high from the energy of interviewing President Barack Obama. As the two men sat together, Colbert once again in a suit, it was clear that the Late Night Show host was thrilled to be talking to one of the nation’s favorite people.
President Obama was there to talk about his latest book, a memoir A Promised Land. All 753 pages are available on Kindle. After all, people would have to endure rigorous training to actually hold the physical book. Obama was quite comfortable talking about the last four years, but measured in his responses.
The comedian slumped in his chair, saying America’s posture “was like a boned fish.”
President Obama agreed, the people were exhausted, tired from the political equivalent of a “cage match every day.”
CBS’s Late Night Show started off with Colbert saying he wanted “to drink you in for a moment” on the YouTube version:
‘I just want to take a moment to drink you in for just a moment. Because I’m having to get used to looking at a president again. I’ve gotten out of the habit. I have to warm up for Joe Biden. I don’t want to pull anything when I see him take the oath of office.’
The president appeared relieved, too, by the election of President-elect Joe Biden:
‘We’ve got the potential of returning to a presidency that is actually paying attention and trying to do right by all people and not just some.’
Colbert was curious about what Obama thought of the Republican party as it now stands. He wondered whether the president was as startled by how the Republican legislators acted, as if they could not “see the advantage of acting as if they actually cared.”
President Obama responded:
‘I think that that is a measure of how detached from reality and how embedded ideological and conspiratorial thinking has become, where you’re doing it even when it’s to your disadvantage. And it is to the detriment of the country, but it also runs contrary to what would have been smart politics if the Republicans wanted to maintain the White House.’
The president continued:
‘And that in some ways is more troubling because now it’s no longer even strategic. You’re drinking your own Kool-Aid in a way that I think is troublesome. And one of the big challenges that Joe Biden is going to have is to figure out how to puncture that information bubble that, not just Republican officials, but a sizable portion of voters are in right now.’
The two men talked about family and the SARS-COVID-19 pandemic. The president said that he and former First Lady Michelle Obama enjoyed having their daughters home — not so sure about the daughters.
The Obama administration had left a full plan of action for dealing with the pandemic. Trump dumped it into the wastebasket. President Obama referred to Trump:
‘The shambolic nature of the government response obviously has been frustrating.’
Clearly unhappy with how Trump handled the coronavirus pandemic, Obama said it was “not rocket science:”
‘If we had done the work, which was not rocket science, we’re not talking about inventing vaccines — and I’m glad to see the vaccine is now coming on board. But, preliminarily communicating effectively, respecting the science, not undermining the leading epidemiologist in the country and saying he’s an idiot, being consistent in terms of masks and social distancing. Not suggesting that this is some act of oppression, but rather a common sense thing to prevent people from getting sick. Had we just taken those steps, there is no doubt that we would have saved some lives, and ironically, the economy would be better.’
The CBS show’s host asked Obama how he felt when he and Trump were sitting in the White House, photographed right after the 2016 election. Colbert said personally, it was “a chilling moment.”
Colbert said he experienced an “emotional flash,” looking ahead to a grim future of how many ways this new guy could “abuse the office.” He asked:
‘Were you having a similar feeling in that moment?’
‘Yeah, it was a concern.’
Colbert paused for a brief moment and then asked if his concerns were “borne out.” Without hesitation, President Obama replied:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.