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Obama: If you don’t like me, you don’t know me

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
February 7, 2011

President Barack Obama leaves the Brady press briefing room after saying the U.S. is committed to disrupting al-Qaida in Yemen, but stopped short of tying the group to bombs mailed to the U.S. from Yemen. Now the unrest engulfing Arab streets and threatening authoritarian governments in the Mideast is complicating U.S. counter terrorism efforts, further shaking the volatile battleground against al-Qaida in Yemen and raising concerns about the durability of Egypt's stance against militants. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Barack Obama says he doesn’t take it personally when people say they hate him. And the thing he dislikes most about being president is the constant, intense scrutiny.

“The people who dislike you don’t know you. The folks who hate you, they don’t know you,” Obama said Sunday in an interview broadcast during Fox’s pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl. “What they hate is whatever funhouse mirror image of you that’s out there. They don’t know you.”

Asked by Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly whether his critics annoyed him, Obama said: “By the time you get here, you have to have had a pretty thick skin. If you didn’t, then you probably wouldn’t have gotten here.”

The 14-minute, live interview sought Obama’s views on a range of timely matters, including the unrest in Egypt and the ultimate fate of the new health care law. O’Reilly also probed Obama on lighter topics, including which team would win the NFL championship game and the worst part of his job.

Obama lamented anew about “being in the bubble.” He is followed practically everywhere by staff, Secret Service agents and the media.

“It’s very hard to escape,” said Obama, seated in the Blue Room of the White House. “Every move you make . and over time, you know, what happens is is that you feel like you’re not able to just have a spontaneous conversation with folks. And that’s a loss. That’s a big loss.”

Asked what surprised him after he took office, Obama said it’s that he’s never asked to solve an easy problem.

“I think that the thing you understand intellectually but that you don’t understand in your gut until you’re in the job . is that every decision that comes to my desk is something that nobody else has been able to solve,” he said. “The easy stuff gets solved somewhere by somebody else. By the time it gets to me, you don’t have easy answers.”

Obama said he has to use his best judgment knowing that “you don’t have perfect information and you know that you’re not going to have a perfect solution.”

A liberal, Obama denied that he’s begun a shift to the political middle following the “shellacking” Democrats suffered in the November elections — the party lost control of the House and has a slimmer majority in the Senate — and as he lays the groundwork for an expected campaign for re-election in 2012.

“I’m the same guy,” Obama said. “And my practical focus, my common-sense focus is how do we out-innovate, out-educate, out-build and out-compete the rest of the world? How do we create jobs here in the United States of America? How do we make sure that businesses are thriving . but how do we also make sure ordinary Americans can live out the American dream because right now they don’t feel like they are?”

O’Reilly asked Obama three times whether the job had changed him before he acknowledged that it had. Obama said his hair is grayer and that “I’m basically the same guy as when I came in” to office. O’Reilly then said that some of Obama’s friends have said Obama is not as light or spontaneous as he once was, to which Obama agreed.

“I would say that’s probably true. There’s no doubt that the weight of this office has an impact,” he said.

As for the game, Obama declined to choose between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.

“Here’s the thing, once my (Chicago) Bears lost, I don’t pick sides,” he said. Green Bay defeated the Bears to get to the Super Bowl.

But he and his wife, Michelle, were throwing a party and Obama, an avid basketball player, said he’d be watching.

“I know football and I will watch the game. What happens is I schmooze with everybody when they come, give them a little bit of time. But once the game starts they can just sit down and watch the game. I’ll be sitting there with them but I don’t want them coming up and chitting and chatting.”

About 100 people were expected, including celebrities Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, the husband-and-wife part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. Elected officials from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were also invited, including Pennsylvania Sens. Robert Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble, a Republican who represents Green Bay.

The menu featured beer from each state: Hinterland Pale Ale and Amber Ale from Wisconsin, and Yuengling Lager and Light, brewed in Pennsylvania, along with plenty of calorie-laden football fare: bratwurst, kielbasa, cheeseburgers, deep-dish pizza, Buffalo wings, potato salad, chips and dips, salad and ice cream, according to the White House.

Asked about the crisis in Egypt, Obama said the country has been forever changed by the huge pro-democracy protests that began Jan. 25. He also played down prospects that the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political and religious group in Egypt with strains of anti-U.S. ideology, would take a major role in any new government.

On health care, Obama said a federal judge in Florida who recently struck down the entire law “was wrong.” That judge said the requirement that nearly everyone have health insurance is unconstitutional. A different judge who reached the same conclusion in a separate case voided only that requirement. Judges in two other cases upheld the law.

It’s generally accepted that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word. Obama gave an indirect answer to O’Reilly’s question about whether he’s prepared for the law to “go down.” Obama said only that he doesn’t want to spend the next two years “refighting the battles of the last two years.”

The Fox News Channel host, a frequent Obama critic who called him “Robin Hood Obama” in a September 2008 interview during the presidential campaign, opened Sunday’s meeting by thanking Obama and his administration for assisting two Fox reporters who’d gotten “roughed up” in Cairo.

“Those guys could have died and I just want everybody to know the State Department really saved them,” O’Reilly said.

The Obama administration has had a contentious relationship with Fox, with some officials accusing it of operating like a wing of the Republican Party.

But O’Reilly was not quite as combative Sunday.

“I enjoy talking to you,” O’Reilly said in closing. “I disagree with you sometimes. I hope you think I’m fair to you. I try to be, but I wish you well in the next two years.”

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

29 Responses to Obama: If you don’t like me, you don’t know me

  1. Almandine

    February 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    A good thing that it’s not the other way round… if you don’t know me you don’t like me, given his intensely secret personna. Buit there is a new book out about him: http://www.humanevents.com/UncommonKnowledge.php

  2. eve

    February 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I judge politicians by their actions, not their words.
    They are proven to be liars time and time again.

    So far, the actions of most politicians have been on par with past administrations.
    More corruption, lying, deceiving and fleecing of the US populace.
    Less freedoms and more laws/bills which make the US citizen the “bad guy.”

    I could have sworn we were attacked on 911.
    They couldn’t possibly hate us for our freedoms, we don’t have many left.

    • woody188

      February 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. I don’t hate Obama personally any more than I hated Junior, Clinton, Senior, or Reagan. Ok, maybe I hated Junior’s drugged out antics and delusions of grandeur, but otherwise, it’s the policies stupid!

  3. Almandine

    February 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    So if actions are the currency of the day, I guess the big O has ponied up enough of those to support the discontent; if lack of knowing him is the charge, it is only because we pay no attention.

    http://www.infowars.com/white-house-responds-to-blackout-controversy/

    The video clip at the end suggests that treason would be a fitting claim. I tend to agree. Where are those we have elected, who SHOULD be paying attention and making a meaningful counterattack?

    • Carl Nemo

      February 8, 2011 at 12:50 am

      Obama is a slick-talking pol for sure, but when it comes to his knowledge of science & technology he surely seems like a dud to me. Seemingly he’s the typical, clueless socialist; ie., full of kumbaya ideas, but little to no knowledge of how to create a product, services or capital that will enhance our quality of life. If we let this guy continue to run with the ball, he’s going to reduce America to the level of crumbling “Detroit”, from coast to coast.

      We best embrace “King Coal” using modern technology to extract its energy.
      The U.S. has coal reserves that totally eclipse all of the Middle-Eastern nations combined. Canada too in therms of their tar sand reserves. We best start embracing more complex, but sustainable paths to energy production than simply sucking “sweet crude” from the ground.

      One of these processes is the Fischcer-Tropsch coal-gasification process inventend in 1920 by German chemists. South Africa uses it for a good portion of it’s diesel fuel and lubricant production.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process

      It allows one to create coal-gas and synthfuel (diesel) from coal. Granted the process creates a high CO2 content in its smokestack effluvients, but there’s alternative methods to scrub CO2 in the process, including growing algae in mass quantities within with sealed tubular biomes exposed to sunlight either outside in warmer climates our within many acres of environtmentally friendly greenhouse structures or cloche’s that are external to the plant which can be converted into high protein feed for agriculture and humanity. The algae harvest is amazing since the created CO2 environment can rival that of earth with the first billion years when algae, ruled long before creatures trod the earth.

      Let’s face it, many if not most policitians are glib. jive turkey, speakers, but when it somes to science, tecnology etc., they have little curiosity and depend on their technological advisers. Unfortuately Obama’s main advisers sit on the National Security Councel with most if not all these intellects simply dedicated to maintaing “Empire Americanus” at any price, wars engineered or otherwise, and could give a rats butt less about technology that benefits energy production and the creation of jobs while ensuring the U.S. is on the cutting edge of “green technology”. To put it simply we’ve got powermad relatively ignorant crazies at the helm of state. Polymaths they are not…! / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Carl Nemo

        February 8, 2011 at 12:57 am

        My aforementioned commentary is with reference to Almandine’s supplied link.

        Carl Nemo **==

      • Carl Nemo

        February 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

        “tubular biomes exposed to sunlight” …extract from post

        should read:

        ‘tubular bioreactors exposed to sunlight”

        My apologies.

        Carl Nemo **==

      • logtroll

        February 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

        Cap’n,

        I love that algae angle. The same sort of a system can be added to sewage treatment plants for dispersed production of a fuel that is better than diesel from fossil oil.

        The technical obstacle is in extracting the oil from the algae, which I trust will be solved soon.

        • Carl Nemo

          February 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          Hi logtroll,

          Here’s an all encompassing link discussing algae in our future. There’s an excellent article at the end discussing biofuel production which seems to be coming on like gangbusters.

          http://www.euroasiaindustry.com/page/466/A-Green-Solution

          Carl Nemo **==

          • Carl Nemo

            February 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm

            I’ll also supply the Wiki link discussing photosynthesis within algae and other plantrs. One will notice that the process consumes six parts CO2 plus 6 parts H2O to yield one unit of sugar C6 H12 O6 and 6O2 six parts oxygen with sunlight being the catalyst of the process. We can’t beat that for a beneficial conversion along with its obvious benefits concerning the scrubbing of CO2 from our atmosphere and the production of oxygen.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis6 part

            Also with mass deforestation of planet earth along with the destruction of grasslands and other oxygen producing mechanisms, then massive algae cultivation will just possibly save the planet. So between large solar arrays, wind-farming, tidal electric generation and possibly the dream process of fusion power we could have a clean planet.

            Unfortunately its all linked to the profit motive which is valid to a point, but the greedy, wealthy mattoids that are ruining this planet could care less since they can always live far away from the madding crowd in their mountain retreats, gated communities and estates while the unwashed masses pay dearly for the traditional cheap and dirty methods of extracting energy from fossil fuels; ie., resources they own. The sun represents a ‘free’ energy source and from their perspective represents the enemy of profits.

            Carl Nemo **==

  4. woody188

    February 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Tell your corporate media loving friends to go see this film: INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008.

    • Carl Nemo

      February 8, 2011 at 1:28 am

      The “Inside Job” trailer seems quite electric to say the least. I’ll surely view it, but it will no doubt end up on the back shelf in the video stores along with “Food Inc.”, one of my favorite expose’s.

      It’s available online for viewing. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

  5. Fivebyfives

    February 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Obama is “liberal?” He’s “moving to the center?” Washington D.C. is a very lithium-deficient city, as regards the bi-polarity of its elected officials. Pres. Obama is indeed liberal in the sense that he and his (unelected) wife see their roles as a Bloombergesque crusade to decide habits of Americans, be it exersize, smoking, eating, driving, etc.

    But at the other end of the scale, on economic policy, if Mr. Obama moves any closer to the center he’s going to fall off a right-leaning cliff.

    And wasn’t it Pres. Obama himself, during the 2008 campaign, who observed to a friend that he was like a chalkboard, and that people would draw upon him whatever they wanted him to be? So he’s real, real smart when it comes to getting elected, but becomes President Petulance when he’s called on something he was proud of two years ago?

    It sounds like it’s getting a little too hot in the kitchen for this man. Oh wait…someone else is delegated to go into such a place.

  6. Lynda

    February 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Why does the people don’t give him the chance to prove something even before his term. It is though on him, as being address at the swearing ceremony. He already told that it would not be easy, and we all have to support him. Go President…!

  7. Almandine

    February 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Don’t make me get linguistically picky.

    The question, though, is why do I have to support him who wants to take what I’ve worked hard for and give it to you?

  8. Walter F. Wouk

    February 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I may not know Obama, personally, but I know a “sell out” when I see one.

  9. jim0001

    February 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Obama said his hair is grayer and that “I’m basically the same guy as when I came in” to office. (from article)

    Michelle knows him and must not like him either because she told Matt his hair wasn’t grayer and denied he dyes it.

    • Carl Nemo

      February 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Maybe when there’s conjecture that he dyes his hair, he means he’s having gray hi-lights ‘added’ to give him the look of a concerned, ever-worried statesman; I.E., a man of the people…no? / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Almandine

        February 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        which peeple?

        • Carl Nemo

          February 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

          You know…Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan et al. execs, the center banks, mega-insurers and of course all his shadowy, “leftie” mentors in which he finds kinship in thought and deeds, but not words of course; that would be too dangerous, exposing him for what he is…no?

          Carl Nemo **==

          • Almandine

            February 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm

            Naw… he’s not really a corporatist, except when that posture reinforces the socialist in him. His peeple are those who could – constitution aside – vote him into more permanent ascendancy. He’s playing that banker crowd for all it’s worth… hell, they may agree with his aspirations.

            • Carl Nemo

              February 10, 2011 at 12:10 am

              It’s my belief that East meets West in that the game for planet earth will be a hybrid beast of socialism/communism and fasicsm combined. Fascism for the benefit of the big guys who represent the deep pocket billionaire oligarchs with a socialistic paradigm implemented for the husbanding of the unwashed masses. Again, it will always be the people’s labors and monies supporting the paradigm. The people getting a ‘feelgood’ buzz that there’s something for them when in reality the corpofascists operate the casino at their ever-losing expense.

              Carl Nemo **==

              • Almandine

                February 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

                My first response is WTF (and that ain’t winning….)?

                If that’s what you think, then you should spend more time in bed with the missus, watch more football, fish and hunt more, drag race, skydive, take in more movies, and generally quit stressing your brain.

                I don’t believe any of that crap, or I’d already have started scamming anybody out of anything I could find. Yeah, the big guys will have more money and the rest of us will work harder, but Jesus Carl, you’d sit there at the keyboard and slide into that future?

                Get off your dead ass man and take control.

                • Carl Nemo

                  February 10, 2011 at 1:07 am

                  Ah, if I only had the “dead ass” you refer to my friend in thought.

                  Like it or not I’m engaged in “brain-refreshing” manual labor on a daily basis for at last several hours including a road walk and some geriatric level weight work.

                  For a minute, don’t think I have to work on these posts. “Neondog” once accused me of being a “virtual keyboard” and little did he/she realize they were far closer to the truth than they could imagine. Everything I post is based on my “knowledge base and not mere conjecture”.

                  ***
                  “I don’t believe any of that crap, or I’d already have started scamming anybody out of anything I could find.” …extract from reply

                  You best get busy because what I’ve written is closer to the truth than you might imagine. Sorry to have upset you so. : )

                  Hmmm…”get off my dead ass and take control” sounds almost hostile to me, but you get a pass on this one whereas others I would “roast”. My wife has said far worse to me in our 44 years of marriage. I like it; ie., roll reversals…! : D

                  Carl Nemo **==

                  • Almandine

                    February 10, 2011 at 1:22 am

                    Nope Carl, you get busy. Your ability to language the problems we have, in a way that resonates as it should, is legion. That’s why we get along… you have much to give.

                    We’re not doomed to the crap you cite if we stick together and work hard. There IS a difference though in bitchin versus workin. (I recall your quote yesterday (mine before) on the small minority that must fight its way forward to effect change.)

                    I pointed to the Fairtax site on the other post awhile ago and you should go there. It’s a whole new idea. You would like it… you could push it.

                    You know, I’ve said in the past that much of what we do here is to reduce the emotional energy from what we could accomplish by shunting it into mere words. THAT is a disaster.

                    So yeah, for whatever amount of load you can bear… make a difference, not a capitulation. And, it has to go beyond here.

                    • Carl Nemo

                      February 10, 2011 at 1:29 am

                      At times Al in the history of the world, “capitulation” is a fait accompli…”justice is in the interest of the stronger” a quote from Thrasymachus a character in “The Republic” by Plato.

                      Carl Nemo **==

                    • Almandine

                      February 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

                      Let’s just work to keep this from being one of those times.

                    • Almandine

                      February 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

                      To quote Burke:

                      The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.