Barack Obama on The Late Show: “I was actually black before the election”

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Last night was President Barack Obama’s sixth appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, but his first as sitting president. Obama has only made one other appearance on a late-night show as sitting president, and that was his trip to the Tonight Show this past spring. Although, I still kind of count his pre-taped appearance on The Colbert Report over the summer, when Obama did a bit ordering General Odierno to shave Stephen Colbert’s head. Which was maybe one of the funniest bits Obama has ever participated in. But anyway…

Obama is really in New York for the opening session of the United Nations, and this appearance was added sort of late in the schedule. When Letterman asked Obama if he enjoyed his schedule, especially the occasional late-night appearance, Obama replied: “That was unexpected… seeing that on the schedule. That‘s one of those, where you ask your advisors, ‘Who‘s responsible for this?’ And everybody sort of looks down…nobody is accountable.”

There were a lot of politics in Obama’s appearance, much of it stuff we probably don’t want to get into on a celebrity gossip site. They talked about the American military’s ongoing 8-year involvement in Afghanistan, and the Obama administration’s attempt to change our Afghanistan policies, which will include sending more troops (“I’ve got to make sure that the policy in place was worthy of their sacrifice.”).

Letterman also asked Obama about the “vitriol” and “bad behavior” that was reported at many of the health-care town halls across the country, and the response to that “vitriol” by certain prominent Democrats, like former President Jimmy Carter. Carter said last week “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.” When asked about it by Letterman, Obama responded, “Well, I think it’s important to realize that I was actually black before the election. So the American people gave me this extraordinary honor, and I think that tells you, I think, a lot about where the country’s at. I actually think that whenever a president begins to bring about serious changes, particularly during times of economic unease, there is a certain segement of the population that gets very riled up.” Obama then drew comparisons to FDR, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and the changes they tried to make, and the names they were called. He also said, “One of the things you sign on for in politics is folks yelling at you.”

On a happier note, Obama was also asked about the short vacation he took with his family, and he said that his daughters Sasha and Malia “they basically goofed off over the summer… which I couldn‘t do.” Letterman responded, “Others have,” prompting a big laugh from both the audience and the president. All in all, I think it was a good appearance. Letterman is a good interviewer, and a good enough host to let his Presidential guest be the funny one. I thought the same thing about Obama that I’ve been think the past few months – the man looks tired. Maybe less late-night appearances and more sleep is called for.

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27 Responses to “Barack Obama on The Late Show: “I was actually black before the election””

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  1. Yippie says:


  2. Sassy says:

    I LOVE his charisma….he looks like he’s really trying to better our country.

  3. Lee says:

    How refreshing he is: intelligent, upstanding, well-spoken, humourous (and definitely crush-worthy). Americans should be proud of themselves for electing such a man.

  4. Praise St. Angie! says:

    not surprising he looked tired.

    check out before and after pics of presidents (before being elected/after leaving office) and the difference is ASTOUNDING.

    hardest job in the world and it ages you enormously.

  5. wow says:

    I like what he said about how changes, especially in an economy like this, are going to get people riled up. And how he named a few Presidents before him who have gone through something similar. He continues to impress me with how well he handles the media.
    Being President is a tough job. I don’t think I could be as polite in dealing with some of the stuff they have to in order to run the country. At some point I know my mouth would get the better of me and I would end up telling some people off. 🙂

  6. Anastasia says:

    Yep. He’s awesome. Just one reason I voted for him.

  7. Sudini says:

    @WOW: I know, lol. I’m impressed that he’s been so gracious in dealing with some of the bratty behavior that’s been going on. I would have fired back a long time ago myself (Barney Frank style :). His level of decorum just exemplifies the difference in class (or total lack thereof) that some of these mongoloids show.

  8. TaylorB says:


    I agree. Looking at pictures of Bush and Clinton before and after is shocking.

  9. Judy says:

    It’s so nice to have a President we can be proud of. For anyone who is interested, an effort is being made to show our support for our President on November 4 by wearing Obama buttons, t-shirts, etc.

  10. ! says:

    Its nice to have a leader that at the very least doesn’t look completely baffled and like he has no idea where he is, much less where he is doing.

  11. curegirl0421 says:

    Love love love.

    I’m so proud of him, every single day.

  12. Vibius says:

    Did anybody have Blinkin (Robin Hood Men in Tights) flashbacks?

  13. donna dot says:

    he’s a puppet. actually he didn’t keep 70% of his pre-election promises. but you all believe him because of his “charisma”.

  14. hatsumomo says:

    Uh donna dot, he has been in office 7 months. He still got 3 years and 5 months to go……..Its like trying to buy and furnish a house starting from scratch in 7 months. you don’t get much done yet…

    And I thought the bit where the lady gave him a heart shaped potatoe was pretty cute. And he is a good looking man. Its easy to see why Michelle said yes to marrying him….

  15. barneslr says:

    “It’s so nice to have a President we can be proud of”

    I WISH we had a president we could be proud of.

  16. Gloaming says:

    So as far as Jimmy Carter’s concerned if you criticize Obama you’re a racist?
    Obviously that goon from ‘The False News Channel’ and some others will fall into that category but to accuse all those protestors of that is weak to say the least. Shame Obama’s hiding behind it too……

    This reminds me of the past administration accusing people of anti-Americanism when they condemned the Iraq/Afghan war. Still using the same mind control techniques the Bush regime did.

    Oh but he has charisma and he’s dreamy so nvm.

    Let the vitriol ensue…..


  17. Katyusha says:

    I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before, but he has a fantastic smile!

  18. sillypeople says:

    I hope he gets re-elected so he has 8 years to do everything he said he will! It certainly cant hurt this country we’re living in

  19. donna dot says:

    well…he promised to remove so many laws made by the bush regime…and now he’s keeping all of them. i don’t think he needs 8 years to do everything he said. he don’t want to do that.

  20. The Old KC says:

    donna dot – where are you getting your news? The Obama administration has already either repealed laws set in place during the Bush administration, or made moves to do so and been prevented from it by state level lawmakers. I’m not even going to list them here – all you have to do is Google “Obama repeal” and there will be a huge laundry list of the changes his administration has pursued. And I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his charisma or smile either, what’s important to me (and what drew my vote for him) is the content of his character and the fact that he will represent my country well, will be a driver for change (which, like or not folks, we need) and knows where North America is on a map.

  21. Sassy says:

    Wow, I see by the comments that there’s a few people on here that obviously didn’t vote for him and don’t care for him….hopefully he makes good on all the promises so you guys can stfu….

  22. For Sooth? says:

    I see that people are still in love with words and aren’t looking at who he surrounds himself with or looking at his actions over what he SAID he would do in his speeches. Good looks and demeanor does not a president make. He is fundamentally disingenuous in presenting his policies and he is not going to pull out of the war. Furthermore, you think Bush was good at lining the pockets of his contributors and cronies??? Just wait for the other shoe to drop with this guy. It has only just begun. Our children and grandchildren will bear the burden of his fiascoes, financially and politically.

    He is weak, he is dishonest, and his administration needs some kind accountability, stat. Even Europe is starting to see this. He is denigrating the office by working the media circuit like a ring master in a circus act and don’t even get me started on the Letterman and Leno bullsh*t. Never in my life have I witnessed such a dog and pony show.

    Oh, but he is dreamy and he speaks well so that overrides common sense. Get ready for a bumpy ride folks because I see turbulence up ahead and our pilot didn’t log enough air time before taking control of the plane(discounting media air blitzing of course).

    Most of you will see this as “hateful”, or the word he is using himself to the point of exhaustion, “rude”. I see it as insightful. I have been around the block a few times and I am not looking at the color of his skin, I am looking at the choices he is making. And they are doozsies that can not be undone!

  23. Katyusha says:

    I’m not sure why people are insinuating his looks had anything to do with why people voted for him here.
    I highly doubt that’s the case.

    I didn’t vote for him, but he’s still got a great smile. Just an observation, folks.

  24. Yae says:

    Obama seems well-intended in attitude.

    However, he promised in speeches to bring the troops home, but signed them on almost indefinantly. I live in an area of the country with a lot of military. Do you guys have ANY idea how many Americans are dying in those regions every week? For WHAT?? My whole metro-area is saturated by the deaths.

    The cash-for-clunkers thing. *cough* Easy loans for many people who can’t afford the cars.

    THATS how the housing bubble crash began.

    And your taxes will get increased to pay for this $4500 payout for all those “lucky” folks who get new cars.

    As an added bonus you all get to pay for all the people that DEFAULT on their new car loans… because the bankers hold us in a death-grip now.

    How generous of Obama…um…….YOU ALL.


  25. Bob says:

    Yes, he’s someone you would pick to play the part of President on TV. Unfortunately he’s showing that he’s not qualified to actually BE President. Charming on TV but a complete failure in the White House.

    Don’t Blame Me – I Voted for Hillary.

  26. Dingles says:

    I am very proud of our President and of the war he is waging in favor of health care reform. I do not understand all these so-called Christian conservatives who so forcibly oppose it. Apparently “loving your neighbor” ends where your wallet begins. If my taxes increase so that my uninsured neighbors can see a doctor if they get sick, then so be it! I hope Obama keeps pushing against that wall and meeting each sneer with a smile.

  27. Cheyenne says:

    Dingles: I do not understand all these so-called Christian conservatives who so forcibly oppose it.

    A lot of these so-called Christian conservatives will oppose anything the president proposes. The bottom line is these are right-wing racists who woke up on November 5, realized we have a black president, and almost shat themselves to death. These are the “birthers” who are claiming Obama has no right to be president because he wasn’t born in America. They don’t even believe that bullshit themselves, but they will do anything, no matter how crazy, to try to invalidate his presidency.