Barack Hussein Obama, White House, President Trump discussed on Pat Thurston

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The night that he won the night that he won. I was actually in Ohio. I was like fell asleep in the car because I've worked so hard. But how did it feel that night? I was exhausted. I was so tired. We gone out that day. My daughter came with us we flew to Indianapolis for one campaign. Stop Justice show people. He was still on that day of the election, working hard, and we had been running like full out. And my daughter said, well, this isn't bad. It's one stop wiser so hard, and I was like, no, you don't understand this is election day, we've been really working hard, and sadly his grandmother had died that just the day before our two got so close, and and and had not made it, and so it was kind of bittersweet in that way. But we were preparing for this rally in grand park, hoping for the best and one of the funny stories, it just shows you kids out of the mouths of babes with the Obamas left. Their home to go to the hotel where we waited for the return. So driving down lakeshore drive. And and it's packed. Right. And so then they get to the hotel. And then when it's time to go to grand park everybody who was in the hotel left earlier. So we could get to grandpa again fingers crossed. And I'm on my way to grand park with a busload of supporters, and we hear that he's one. And so, of course, the bus goes up in uproar, and then I get to grand park, and I decided to wait backstage to see him. Now, they come from the Hyatt hotel towards grand park. And by that point. He's the president-elect, right? Not a car on the street because secret service kicks in immediately. And there is no traffic. Emily said daddy. I'm so sorry. I don't think anybody's coming to your party. Shows you how kids are she was so protective of him. It's like, I'm so sorry. There's nobody there. He goes. I think they're going to be a few people there, and we get the grand park and lo and behold our million people there, and you know, any of you know, you guys take your weather for granted November in Chicago. When it's above sixty degrees. You're on a good night. And this was like early seventies low seventies. And so I'm standing backstage. And I'm thinking, what can I say to my friend to capture how I feel and I was searching for words, and I'm not usually at a loss for words, and I saw him come up the steps to the riser, and he's walking towards Manny starts out about as far as the back of this room. And I'm like, something broken come to mind. Something brilliant, come to mind. I couldn't think of what to say literally, not a word came out of my mouth, and he came over. And I guess he couldn't think of what to say either. We never said a word. He hugged me, and I hugged him, and it was like squeeze him and tried to fight back, the tears and that. And I'm glad actually now because I would've probably not so the exact right thing. And it's better to just have the emotion that's left unsaid at a time like that. And what a beautiful moment, and the fact that there was everybody in grant park felt the way we felt in Springfield day, only with a few more people jubilant excited. I mean, the cameras were on folks who are in crying hugging. Perfect strangers. I was a beautiful moment amazing moment, I was sleeping the car after he's I I didn't hear the whole speech. But I was like I just heard him start speaking. And I was like this. We worked hard and Ohio. We were so happy, and we wanna hire a big state to win. Yes. And tell us a little bit. I mean, I know people are dying to hear about, you know, so many things that you accomplished in the White House. I mean, the work that you all did with a bomb hair, the work that you did with same sex marriage, and all of the just really challenges that had existed you guys over. Overcame these tremendous obstacles, despite the drama that you had to face when there was a change. And we won't even go there. But there was really some challenging times when yes so right halls White House, then and to the point where I remember you talked about in the book, there was a breaking point. But let's talk about that that moment where you felt that we did something amazing. And maybe not everyone else realizes how amazing it was. But you were like in the middle of it. You helped make it happen. The hard work you made it happen through this incredible process that can sometimes be very difficult to make anything happen. So that a little bit about that. That's true. I'll tell you one of the strengths. I think of his leadership is the ability to take the long view and recognize that you're going to absorb a lot of pain on your way to that long view. And that you just can't put your short term political interests ahead of what's best for the country, and perhaps your Ford. -able karaoke passing is one of the best examples where it was. An uphill climb seven presidents before him had tried to get it passed and failed. And he was just a terminal to get it done. And one of the ways that he would lift us up sometimes was with humor. And I remember one time we were really thinking that there's no way this is going to get done. It was a summer recesses and members of congress had gone home to their districts where coming for hearings and live Republicans were promoting this notion of death panels, and nobody actually knew it a death panel was, but you knew you didn't want one right? Just the name was perfectly diabolical name to say and we were in the Oval Office. And every all of his senior team were just so dispirited, and he asked one guy well, fill third way, Phil who is in charge of legislative affairs. What are we going to do? And so Phil said, well, if you're feeling lucky we can do this. And that and everybody else was like not gonna work that's disaster. And President Obama said you're asking me if I feel lucky he said, we're are we fill so. We're in the Oval Office. And he goes what's my name? And he says President Obama, and he said my name is Barack Hussein Obama, and we're at here. Yes. Go figure out how to get this done. And it just lifted us up, and we did get it done and the night that it was scheduled to pass. I went home with my same friend who I sat across the table with a back way back in the mayor's office who now was in the White House counsel's office. Susan sure, and we go home to watch the vote and Maud might have been there. I mean, we're just like relaxing from Chicago. We counted the votes long before they took place. And. Tell we rolled. And so it's late at night and Susan in our pajamas. We have a big bowl of popcorn glass of wine. And we're getting ready for the vote on the phone rings in. It's Katie Johnson. President Obama's assistant and she says President Obama like everybody who worked on the character. Come back, the White House, and we're like, we're good here. Popcorn. We're exhausted been working on it nonstop. I said we'll just we'll just watch it from here. And she goes President Obama would like everybody who worked on they Care Act to come back. So we're like, okay, we get it. We got it. So we get dressed and slipped back and have the celebration. And then he's like hundred people come on up stairs. And celebrate. Well, MRs Obama was out of town. That's the only way about and you could just imagine. What's happening ushers are like what a hundred people coming upstairs. What are we serve there in the freezer? Looking for pigs in the blanket or something and secret services like renegades on the move plus one hundred. This just didn't happen. But it was a unique night. Right. And then we get up there, and we're celebrating and he's saying everybody how important they were from vice president Biden to the most junior person on my staff who found this woman to McCann field who'd written a note to President Obama explaining her illness, and why affordable health insurance would be so important to her because she did what many families would do she played Russian roulette. She contracted cancer. She was treated for it. She went into remission, and then she was her premiums went up because she had a pre existing condition and she's choosing between holding onto her mom's childhood home and paying her premiums and she opted to not pay the premiums. And of course, the cancer came back. And so she became our spokesperson when she was too ill to talk about. Her sister showed up at her place and my staff person and wizard developed this relationship with Mathoma and her sister. And so President Obama said to her you're the reason this past. And he has her hands like this. And there's a photo of my book of him looking at this woman. He was like, oh my God. The president United States is talking to me. And he said it this is what I want. I want us to be engaging with the American people. I want them to be a part of what we're all about. And so that was a moment but later that night, and we're talking like, I am I'd had maybe two Martinez to confess to you. Because we're celebrating I sidled up to President Obama, and we were on the Truman balcony, my favorite place in the White House, and you're looking out on the south lawn and the Washington Monument is blinking in the Jefferson memorial behind that. And I said how do you feel tonight compared to election night 'cause you look so happy and he said. There's no comparison. He said election-night was just about getting to this night. And yes election night. I won. But tonight, the American people win, and that's what you're supposed to do. And I thought that's why I work for you. You know, and so many great stories in the book. But what I found quite interesting to is like really, you're relationship where you the president will call you or you'll just show up at his house and have dinner, and it's like, I'm going to go hang out with Michelle and Barack and you know, all of us here. We look at Michelle and Barack and we go, whoa. Wow. That's amazing. And you have this incredible relationship with them. And part of what you do in the book, which I think is great. Is you expose it in such a way that you're like, wow, they're they're human. All right. Well, your and your normal. But you're like incredible. And. And again, I I say that this is exciting because I it's like I'm glad you wrote the book because it's like I have this newfound appreciation and respect for all the incredible things. You did. I mean, we saw from afar in watching it on the news and rooting for you and get mad with you and everything else. But to just understand it better was absolutely fascinating. One of the questions from the audience is what do you make of the current tug of war between so-called establishment, Democrats and the far left and what's happening with the party. And what are we going to be able to do to to change that post Obama? Well, so this is what I think about the Democratic Party. It's it has a very big tent. And I think that's a strength of the party is that we embrace a whole range of ideas that fall under the democratic values progressive values, and the.

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