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Published: Monday, 5/2/2011

Obama says he wants to be the president who restores belief in American dream

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO — Barack Obama says he wants to be the president who restores people’s belief in the American dream.

In an interview, Obama also expresses disappointment over sharp-edged Washington politics and his failure to soften it as he’d promised. He complains that life inside “the bubble” is depriving him of precious, memorable moments with his growing daughters.

Meanwhile, daughter Malia has to start doing laundry, her mother said.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, revealed these tidbits on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” during an interview they granted to help a dear friend and major political supporter close out her top-rated, syndicated program on a high note after a quarter-century on the air.

It was the first time a sitting president and first lady have appeared together on the show, which Winfrey has said will end May 25. Taped last week at Winfrey’s Chicago studio, the interview was to be broadcast nationally on Monday.

Asked what he wants his legacy to be if he is re-elected next year, Obama said he wants people to feel that opportunity is there for them if they work hard and do the right things. He said there’s a general sense that the American dream is “slipping away.”

Obama sat for the interview last week hours after releasing a detailed version of his Hawaiian birth certificate in a bid to end distracting speculation, fueled by prospective Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, over whether Obama is U.S.-born.

Obama said the controversy is an example of the blurring between politics and entertainment, as “carnival barkers” seek attention by calling on him to show his birth certificate to prove he is a citizen and therefore constitutionally qualified to hold office.

“Reality TV is seeping into how we think about our politics,” Obama said in the interview. While he has described the birth certificate as “silliness,” he said stories he hears about people’s fears of losing their homes or unsuccessful efforts to find a job are not funny.



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