Glenn Thrush of Politico scored a long and interesting interview with President Obama, the full audio of which is posted online. It’s 40 minutes long, but if you have the time and like Obama, I recommend it. If you intensely dislike him, that’s a long time to listen to him and you should take your blood pressure medication in advance.
I’ve read, seen and heard many Obama interviews over the past eight years, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard him this relaxed and reflective. The current news has made him nostalgic for the months he spent as an upstart underdog candidate in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, and he seems to be enjoying those memories.
Obama also comes across as sincere, although you never know what kind of filter a guy like him is able to apply and still seem to be expressing his true thoughts and feelings. A lot of the discussion is about the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders race for the Dem presidential nomination. Obama seems to be determined not to put his thumb too heavily on the scale in that one, so he’s probably being cautious.
On balance, if you weighed every syllable, he seems to be complimentary about Clinton (who was, after all, a member of his administration) and he suggests that Sanders’ singular focus on issues of economic inequality neglect the complexity of the job of president. (I would note that Sanders talks plenty about foreign and military policy, but usually only when he’s asked.)
Thrush does a good job drawing Obama into the nostalgia of Iowa/2008. (Thrush covered those caucuses, but was assigned to the Hillary Clinton campaign.)