The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

    Home       Facebook       Youtube     Newsletter     What's New?      Discussion List      Conference     Contact

clip8.flv Clip 8 video by kos102

Obama Video Clips > The Oprah Winfrey Show, October 18, 2006

The Oprah Winfrey Show
October 18, 2006 Wednesday
LENGTH: 7122 words

HEADLINE: Barack Obama on the Tough Questions; Senator Barack Obama
discusses his new book, "The Audacity of Hope," working in the US
Senate and joined by his wife Michelle, comments on family life and


HOST: Oprah Winfrey

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Sheri Salata, Lisa Erspamer


OPRAH WINFREY: Today, an all-new OPRAH. Senator Barack Obama and his
wife Michelle, the stories you have not heard.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Author, "The Audacity of Hope"): I say hi and
put out my hand to shake. She says, `Daddy, kids don't shake hands.'
And I called Michelle, thinking this was going to be a terrific piece
of legislation, she says, `We have ants.'

WINFREY: Tell us what happened when he offered to get goody bags.

Sen. OBAMA: Here's the context for the story.

WINFREY: I wanted her to tell the story.

WINFREY: And is he or isn't he?

Would you consider that? Next.

My guest today is a shining example of what is possible if you live
your life with fierce hope. Newsweek calls him a "political phenomenon
unlike any previously seen on the American scene." New York Magazine
says he's "the embodiment of progress, advancement and hope." He's on
the cover of Vogue, won a Grammy, is a best-selling author and even
has a beer named after him. Please welcome Senator Barack Obama.

Sen. OBAMA: Good to see you.

WINFREY: Nice to see you.

Sen. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, guys. Thank you.


Sen. OBAMA: You got all my cousins in here.

WINFREY: All your family members. A couple.

Anyway, we're--obviously, you all know we tape this show in Chicago,
people who are watching around the world, Chicago is in Illinois. This
is my senator, my favorite senator.

Sen. OBAMA: That's right, hometown.

WINFREY: Favorite senator. Who has really written a good book. And I
stayed up all night reading the book.

Sen. OBAMA: Oh, that's so nice. Thank you.

WINFREY: And really well done.

Sen. OBAMA: I appreciate that.

WINFREY: Did you do it yourself?

Sen. OBAMA: I did, yeah.

WINFREY: So when did you write it?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, I would get home around 9:00 after work.

WINFREY: Yeah, yeah.

Sen. OBAMA: And the nice thing is Michelle and I have different hours.
She's--my wife is...

WINFREY: I know who she is.

Sen. OBAMA: I know, but I wanted to make sure everybody knows. She's
sitting right here.


Sen. OBAMA: The good-looking one right here in the middle. And--but,
you know, Michelle goes to bed at like at 8:30.


Sen. OBAMA: When the girls go to bed, she's starting to...

WINFREY: That is me, too, Michelle.

Sen. OBAMA: And I'm a night owl. So after having dinner and making
sure the girls are tucked in and Michelle goes to bed, then I would
write. And I'd stay up until 12, 1, 2.

WINFREY: This is when you're home in Chicago.

Sen. OBAMA: When I'm at home in Chicago. And when I'm in the
apartment, I just...

WINFREY: In Washington?

Sen. OBAMA: In Washington, as soon as I get back to the apartment I would start.

WINFREY: So, Senator Obama's written a new book. It's called "The
Audacity of Hope." And in the current issue of Men's Vogue, they say
that this book lays down a grand challenge to his own party and may
one day get him elected president. Why did you call it the--why did
you call it--why "The Audacity of Hope"?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, because, first of all, my pastor, Jeremiah
Wright, down at Trinity United Church of Christ, had a wonderful
sermon way back when I was still a community organizer. And I still
remember this sermon because the title of it was "The Audacity of
Hope." And he was talking about how sometimes in life, everything
seems to be going wrong, the world is in turmoil, war, disease and


Sen. OBAMA: And yet, despite all that, we can still stay hopeful.


Sen. OBAMA: And I was really struck by that phrase because I think
that one of the things that characterizes this country in particular
is that sense that we can overcome. That sense that no matter how
difficult our circumstances, that we have that boldness to say...


Sen. OBAMA: ...we can do better.

WINFREY: But you know, I wasn't feeling that hopeful and then I read
your book and now I'm feeling more hopeful.

Sen. OBAMA: Well, there you go.

WINFREY: I was not feeling that hopeful, though, because I was
thinking--you know, you say in the book, you say that there's a sense
that our democracy has gone awry.

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: That there are a lot of people feeling that. I

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: And I was one of those people feeling that. But then you also
mention in the book that there have been worse times.

Sen. OBAMA: Absolutely. You know, if you think about this country,
what's happened is typically that we've gone in spurts. Sometimes, we
make progress.


Sen. OBAMA: The civil rights movement or abolition. And then sometimes
we go into dark times. But the general trajectory is upward. You know,
one of my favorite sayings, Martin Luther King said, "The arc of the
moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." You know, you
can't always see it but on the horizon, it's moving in the direction.
That's us.

WINFREY: OK. You do not feel these are dark times?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, I think--I think they're troubling times and I think
they're troubling times for a couple of reasons. I think they're
troubling times because we feel cynical about government.


Sen. OBAMA: We don't get a sense that the challenges that we're
facing, in terms of educating our kids to compete and making sure that
everybody has health care...


Sen. OBAMA: ...or dealing with the energy problems...

WINFREY: You called it--I'd never heard this phrase before--you called
it a coarsening of the culture.

Sen. OBAMA: Well, and you see it all the time.

WINFREY: Our belief in materialism and all of that, a coarsening.

Sen. OBAMA: You see it in our youth...


Sen. OBAMA: ...and you see it at the highest reaches of government. A
sense that it's more important to be powerful or to be wealthy than it
is to do right.

WINFREY: And also, you speak in this book, "The Audacity of Hope,"
which I thought was very candid of you, about trying to hold on to
yourself. How do you not become a politician. I'm watching you to make
sure that doesn't happen. How do you not start that political speak
thing, you know. Isn't that hard?

Sen. OBAMA: It's hard, but I think it's something you have gone
through, which is we have this celebrity culture.


Sen. OBAMA: And politics sometimes blends in with celebrity. And it
gobbles you up because the tendency is to--for people to want to see
you perform and say what they want to hear, as opposed to you trying
to stay in touch with, you know, that deepest part of you, that kernel
of truth inside each of...

WINFREY: This is how I know you're really in touch because I didn't
know this. The last book, "Dreams of My Father," that the money from
that book, the proceeds from that book, you paid off your college
loans. You paid off your college loans? You still had college loans?

Sen. OBAMA: Yeah. You know, that's what happens when you don't have
that trust fund, you know.


Sen. OBAMA: Absolutely.

WINFREY: Really.

Sen. OBAMA: Yeah. Now, I bought some nice things for my wife, too.


Sen. OBAMA: Yeah.

WINFREY: In addition to paying off your loan.

Sen. OBAMA: In addition to paying off the loan.

WINFREY: So recently, I was reading this New York Times writer Frank Rich.

Sen. OBAMA: Great writer.

WINFREY: OK. He wrote a book called "The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The
Decline of Truth in America." Do you believe that there has been a
decline in truth in America?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, I do. I think what's happened is that we are so
interested in spin.


Sen. OBAMA: And we're less interested in facts.


Sen. OBAMA: So, you know, the media and the 24-hour news cycle and the
cable shows and everybody's arguing at each other, a lot of times,
though, there are some actual facts there that we could check.

WINFREY: Yeah. But specifically, though, Frank Rich says that we will
spend on the war, that we were told--that we were lied to about the
reasons for going into war.

Sen. OBAMA: You know, and I remember, just about a mile away from
here, at a rally in 2002, where I stood up, I was about to announce
for the United States Senate, the president was at 60 percent to 65
percent, people were really beating the drum of war, and I said this
is a bad idea. And I said it was a bad idea because at that time, I
had a sense that we didn't have evidence that there were weapons of
mass destruction. We, you know, were clearly focusing on Saddam


Sen. OBAMA: Even though he had nothing to do with 9/11 and I think that...

WINFREY: So you think we were lied to?

Sen. OBAMA: I think we--I think the facts were massaged and
manipulated to make the case for war and I think there's a consequence
and we paid the price.

WINFREY: So, I love the way you divide the chapters in the book. You
talk about opportunity, you talk about faith, you talk about values.

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: And what I love that you said is that the truth is that
sometimes Democrats need to listen to what Republicans are saying
because sometimes they might have something that's true, and the
opposite is also true.

Sen. OBAMA: Absolutely.

WINFREY: We're too divided in terms of Democrats and Republicans.

Sen. OBAMA: Well, one of the things--as I travel around the country,
and I speak all over the place now, you know, the country is not as
divided as Washington sees. It's not as divided as those able news
shows make it out to be.

WINFREY: Really?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, I think conservatives are more tolerant than we
make them out to be.


Sen. OBAMA: Liberals are concerned about values, contrary to what
conservatives say.


Sen. OBAMA: And I think if we can all just be open to each other's
wisdom and to listen for each other's common values, because we have
these powerful values that in common, in terms of self-reliance and
hard work and honesty and kindness. All those things our mothers and
grandmothers taught us.


Sen. OBAMA: People have those inside us, and if we could get our
politics to express those values.

WINFREY: Both Republicans and Democrats.

Sen. OBAMA: If we can get those values expressed in our politics, then
I think we can actually start solving problems instead of arguing and
bickering all the time.

WINFREY: But you know, the media would--some media, not all, would
tend to lean towards only the Republicans have a sense of values.
Because remember after the elections...

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: ...people were saying, it was the values.

Sen. OBAMA: Right.


Sen. OBAMA: My mother--when I think about the values I hold most dear,
they came from her, and she wasn't a Republican. So you know, I think
these values transcend party. And I think that what happens is is that
when we start talking about family values, we start focusing very
narrowly on things like abortion or gay marriage. But you know, what
we don't spend enough time talking about is our mothers and fathers
getting paid enough so that they can support their kids and send them
to college. Are we making sure that if a child gets sick that
somebody's there to provide them adequate health care? Those are all

WINFREY: And that we all feel the same about.

Sen. OBAMA: And we all feel the same way. Now, the converse is also
true. You know, I made a speech about the fact that there's so much
sex on TV, and I've got an eight-year-old and a five-year-old


Sen. OBAMA: And, look, I'm not a prude. You know, I watch HBO once in
a while. I love "The Sopranos." But, you know, if you're watching
football and you've got your two girls with you and suddenly one of
these ED ads come on and folks are talking about how, you know, a
little pill is going to help you, it's embarrassing to explain it to
your child.

WINFREY: Oh, yeah, you're talking about the male enhancement pill.

Sen. OBAMA: Male enhancement pill.


Sen. OBAMA: So the point, though, is I feel that, just as much as any

WINFREY: You know, I liked you before, I really did, but then I read
this book, and I remember you saying that your mother--and I though, I
really like you now, because your creed for politics is how does that
make you feel.

Sen. OBAMA: Yeah.

WINFREY: You say your mother used to say to you...

Sen. OBAMA: She taught me empathy. The basic concept of standing in
somebody else's shoes and looking through their eyes. And she--you if
I did something, messed up, she'd just say, `How would that make you
feel if somebody did that to you?' And that ends up being, I think, at
the center of my politics. And I think that should be the center of
all our politics. If we see a child who's languishing in an inner city
school, how would we feel if that was our child? If we see a
grandparent who doesn't have their prescription drugs, you know...

WINFREY: How would that make you feel?

Sen. OBAMA: would that make you feel...

WINFREY: Make you feel, not to have...

Sen. OBAMA: ...not to be able to...

WINFREY: Drugs to better your health?

Sen. OBAMA: Exactly. And I think that if that's the central focus of
our politics, as opposed to it being about power or you know, how can
I get more...

WINFREY: But it's hard. You also say in the book, "The Audacity of
Hope," you also say that it's hard to keep that for a lot of
politicians because you're flying in the private jets. I've got a
story about that. Back in a moment with Senator Barack Obama. You
wouldn't fly in mine!


(Excerpt from videotape)

Sen. OBAMA: (July 27, 2004) In no other country on Earth is my story
even possible.

WINFREY: He burst into our lives in 2004 with his electrifying works
at the Democratic National Convention.

Sen. OBAMA: The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes
that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope.

WINFREY: Two years later, the country still can't get enough of Barack
Obama. He is living proof that the American dream really can come
true. From humble beginnings, he defied the odds at every turn.

Sen. OBAMA: My mother was born in Wichita, Kansas. My father grew up
in a tiny village in Kenya.

WINFREY: He grew to be a man who breaks down barriers. In law school,
he became the first African-American president of the prestigious
Harvard Law Review. He went on to become a civil rights attorney,
community activist and an Illinois state senator. Now, this Democratic
star of the United States Senate is mobbed by crowds and praised in
the press. And at every stop, he delivers a thrilling message of hope
for the future.

(End of excerpt)

WINFREY: Senator Obama is here and his new back is called "The
Audacity of Hope." This summer, the senator traveled with his family
to Africa. I offered him a ride. He wouldn't take it on my plane. And
then I later read in the book you did take a ride on somebody else's
jet. Whose jet was that?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, that was before we took that trip to Africa.

WINFREY: Uh-huh.

Sen. OBAMA: But you know, I started realizing that when you get in the
habit of taking corporate jets and you're eating dinner with

WINFREY: Flying. Yeah.

Sen. OBAMA: ...and--that you start getting detached from the people
that you represent. And one of the things I'm always worried about is
starting to represent Washington to my constituents instead of
representing my constituents in Washington.


Sen. OBAMA: So, you know, we instituted a policy that we wouldn't fly
on other people's jets, which broke my heart when I found out that
Oprah was going to South Africa. And...


Sen. OBAMA: But, you know, I was looking to carve out that Oprah
exception but...

WINFREY: Couldn't do it.

Sen. OBAMA: After I instituted that ban on corporate planes, I
remember taking commercial. And it was this classic, you know,
terrible ride.

WINFREY: Yeah. Three hours, yes.

Sen. OBAMA: Trip out to O'Hare was bad.


Sen. OBAMA: You know, you're in the traffic jam, and you get there,
kid's spilled orange juice on my shoes.


Sen. OBAMA: And all that stuff. But as I was finally getting on the
plane, the plane had been delayed, I was grumpy, I'm about to get on.
And this young man comes up to me and he says, `You're Senator Obama.'
And I said, `Yes.' And he said, `I just want you to know I'm 32, 33,
I've got a three-year-old son and I've got Parkinson's disease. And
although it's not bad yet, they expect that I'll probably never be
able to throw a baseball with my son. And so I really want you to work
on stem cell research because it may not help me, but it might help
somebody else to make sure they're not going through what I'm going
through.' And, you know, the--it was just a small moment, but it
reminded me of why I got into politics and why you want to make sure
that you are always there, present. That's why we...

WINFREY: That wouldn't happen on a private jet.

Sen. OBAMA: And that doesn't happen on a private jet.


We'll be right back with Senator Obama.

Next, hero's homecoming from Senator Obama. The moving reception he
got when he returned to his father's homeland when we come back.


WINFREY: We're back with Senator Barack Obama, who's written a great
book called "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming the American
Dream." And this summer, the senator traveled with his family to
Africa where he received a welcome that he says caught him by

(Excerpt from videotape)

Sen. OBAMA: I'm going to go back and tell everybody in America how
much I love the people of...(unintelligible).

WINFREY: During his trip to Africa, Barack Obama visited Ethiopia,
Djibouti, Chad and South Africa.

Sen. OBAMA: Hi. How are you all doing?

WINFREY: But in his father's homeland of Kenya, he receives a welcome
fit for a king.

Sen. OBAMA: I am so proud to come back home and to see all these
people here today.

WINFREY: People walked for miles just to get a peek. And the closer he
gets to his father's village, the more Obama mania grows. People cheer
and dance and sing songs written just for him. The Kenyans had been
preparing for months. Roads had been leveled and paved, buildings
freshly scrubbed and painted, and the local school renamed all in
Obama's honor. In return, the senator and his wife do something truly

Sen. OBAMA: My wife and I are going to get tested for HIV-AIDS,
because if you know your status, then you can prevent illness.

WINFREY: In a region plagued by HIV, this simple act helps remove the
stigma of getting tested.

Sen. OBAMA: So I just want everybody to remember that if a US senator
from the United States can get tested and his wife can get tested,
then everybody in this crowd can get tested.

(End of excerpt)

WINFREY: Yeah. I've been there and I know what a stigma that is, that
even holding a baby with HIV changes the way people feel about it. And
so what impact do you think that had?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, you know, the Center for Disease Control, which had
a program up in that area, said that if I got tested with Michelle in
public that it potentially would lead to about half a million more
people maybe getting tested.


Sen. OBAMA: Which was a wonderful...

WINFREY: Because it just changes the stigma.

Sen. OBAMA: It just changes the mentality, and particularly for men,
because you know, one of the tragedies of Africa is that the
relationship between men and women, I think, has broken down. There's
a lot of sexual violence, a lot of AIDS is caused by women whose
husbands are bringing it home to them. And to send the message that
being a strong man means taking care of your family.

WINFREY: And being responsible.

Sen. OBAMA: And being responsible towards your wife, I think, was a
very important message.

WINFREY: Yeah. Don't you find sometimes, I know a lot of people go to
Africa, I have been there many times, and you can become overwhelmed
with all the things that need to change.

Sen. OBAMA: Well, the thing about Africa, and look, there are parts of
the United States that are like this as well, where you can get
depressed because...


Sen. OBAMA: But you also will always find is the spirit of people who
are doing good things.

WINFREY: Audacity of hope.

Sen. OBAMA: And audacity of hope, overcoming, you know, great
challenges. And that lifts you back up and makes you realize, given
all the blessings you've been given, you've got to make sure to give
something back.

WINFREY: So before he left African, Barack Obama visited a Sudanese
refugee camp to see firsthand what is happening to the people of
Darfur. What's happening there is absolutely, it's atrocious, really.

(Excerpt from videotape)

WINFREY: It's being called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. In
the Darfur region of Sudan, government-backed Arab fighters known as
the janjaweed, have been slaughtering black civilians for over three
years now. So far, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed
and it's estimated that the death toll will continue to rise. Men are
gunned down in front of their wives, women are raped in front of their
children. No one is safe. To escape the janjaweed's murderous rampage,
two and a half million people have fled their homes. They walk, some
for weeks, to refugee camps.

Senator Barack Obama visited one of those camps this summer. The Mille
refugee camp shelters over 15,000 people and is only one of 12 camps
in Chad, near the Sudanese border.

Sen. OBAMA: Did any of the women here lose their husbands or children?

WINFREY: The stories are haunting.

Unidentified Man: She lost 10 family members.

Sen. OBAMA: What happened? Does she remember when she was in her
village when the janjaweed came?

Man: The janjaweed came to their village and they began to shoot, you
know, like everybody they met on the street.

WINFREY: For the millions of Darfur refugees desperate for an end to
this violence, a simple visit from Senator Obama represents hope, hope
that the world will finally listen.

(End of excerpt)

WINFREY: Yeah. I feel--I'm overwhelmed by that situation in Darfur.
What can we do?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, we've been working to pass legislation at the
federal level and so I would love all your viewers to just send a
letter to your congressman or...

WINFREY: And say what?

Sen. OBAMA: ...or your senator and say, `Can you please, A, pass the
Darfur bill that's currently up that will provide some assistance to
dealing with this issue.' But more...

WINFREY: Because aren't they going to take the troops out and all the
people they've slaughtered in a month?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, more importantly, what we have to do is the African
Union currently has some troops, but they're talking about moving them
out. They haven't really been able to provide protection to these
families. We need a UN force, a United Nations force, that provided
protection. And the Bush administration needs to put pressure on the
United Nations and the Security Council to deal with what is a
genocide. And keep in mind that I'm not somebody who believes that we
should just send our troops everywhere. I think that, you know, there
are a lot of problems in the world and we can't solve all of them. But
when people are being slaughtered wholesale, those of us who are
fortunate enough to live in the United States or other places, need
to, as an international community, make sure that we're providing them
with some protection. And that's really the thing that we need the
Bush administration to do right now.

WINFREY: Yeah. Did you see that New York Times--I'm sure you did, see
The New York Times article where the gentleman was saying, `Help us,
please, international community, help us. We are going to all be

Sen. OBAMA: It's heartbreaking. The problem is not just the actual
slaughter of folks by these janjaweed, these Sudanese-backed troops.
The problem is humanitarian organizations are right now feeding about
two million people in these various refugee camps. And if those
humanitarian organizations don't feel protected, if they feel
threatened by these armed thugs that are coming into their camps...

WINFREY: Because a lot of them are gone out.

Sen. OBAMA: A lot of them have left. So I'm really hopeful that we as
a country say that there are certain things that are not acceptable in
our world. And one of them is seeing children killed and women raped
and men slaughtered.

WINFREY: So you write your congressman and say that?

Sen. OBAMA: Your congressman and your senators.


Sen. OBAMA: And let them know that we've got to take this seriously,
that we're not going to accept this.

(Graphic on screen)

Go to to find out how to help Darfur

WINFREY: I think a lot of people don't even know what's going on.

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: Coming up, he says if he had to run against her he would
definitely lose. We'll talk to Barack's wife Michelle when we come
back. He would.


(Excerpt from videotape)

Sen. OBAMA: Being a husband and being a father constantly reminds me
of what's important. And it means that I'm not worried about being
loved, I'm not worried about my press, I'm worried about am I being a
good father, am I being a good husband. And if my wife thinks that I'm
a solid guy and if my daughters know that I love them and want to
spend time with them, then that is probably the most important reward
that I receive. And it's a terrific check on all the distractions and
hype and hoopla that sometimes can bring you down when you're in

(End of excerpt)

WINFREY: So Barack Obama has been married to his wife, Michelle, for
14 years. Today is their wedding anniversary.

Ms. MICHELLE OBAMA (Senator Barack Obama's Wife): She does her
homework. You do your homework.

WINFREY: Fourteen years.

Ms. OBAMA: Fourteen years.

WINFREY: So what are y'all going to do to celebrate? Are you going out
tonight? What are you going to do?

Ms. OBAMA: I don't know. What are we going to do?

Sen. OBAMA: We've got some special plans but...

Ms. OBAMA: We do?

Sen. OBAMA: We do, but we're probably not going to do them tonight
because I told you, she falls asleep at about 8:30.

WINFREY: At 8:30.

Sen. OBAMA: So it's a school night.

Ms. OBAMA: Not tonight.

Sen. OBAMA: We're going to have to wait till the weekend to party hard.

WINFREY: OK. Party hard. Now, you're home, what, three days a week,
two days a week?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, typically, if we're in session then I'll leave
Monday night, hopefully after I've put the girls to bed and tucked her
in, and then I'll take the late night flight to DC.


Sen. OBAMA: And then I'm usually there Tuesday, Wednesday, and I'm
usually home Thursday night.

WINFREY: Thursday night.

Sen. OBAMA: So usually I'm gone...

WINFREY: One of my favorite stories in this book, "Audacity of Hope,"
I know, I love the whole what we can do for our country, but I also
love the story you had just signed some bill or voted for a bill...

Sen. OBAMA: Well, you know, I'd just introduced this bill on
nonproliferation, you know, nuclear weapons that are out there, loose
nukes in former Soviet territory. So I was working with my Republican
colleague Dick Lugar to introduce this bill. I was excited about it. I
called Michelle, saying, `Look, this is going to be a terrific piece
of legislation.' She says, `We have ants.' I said, `Ants.' She said,
`Yes, we have ants and I need ant traps.' We have ants in the bathroom
and the kitchen. So on your way home, can you pick up some ant traps,
please?' So...

Ms. OBAMA: We had ants.

WINFREY: You had ants.

Sen. OBAMA: You know, so I'm thinking, you know, is John McCain
stopping by Walgreens to grab ant traps on the way home?

Ms. OBAMA: If he's not, he should be.

WINFREY: If he's not, he should be. Yes. And so you all have
maintained the normalcy of your marriage.

Ms. OBAMA: Yeah. We've really tried to, to the extent that being
married to him is normal, which it's not. But you know, we made a
concerted effort to stay here in Chicago for the same reasons that he
alluded to. I mean, you just really want to stay grounded in a place
that you feel is home.

WINFREY: And you wanted your daughters to grow up here.

Ms. OBAMA: Absolutely, absolutely.

WINFREY: Yeah, yeah.

Ms. OBAMA: And I have a job, you know, so my job is here.


Ms. OBAMA: So, you know, it just didn't seem to me, even though he was
sort of alluding to the fact that it would really be nice for us to be
there, I didn't sort of see us in Washington.


Ms. OBAMA: That, you know, if he's representing this state, we needed
to be here and living here and doing our routines, the girls going to

WINFREY: In the state.

Ms. OBAMA: So we try to keep life very, very normal for the kids.

WINFREY: In your book you write about priorities, that passage. Could
you read that passage?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, so I talk about how, given my father's failures
in some ways as a father, that I wanted to make sure that I was the
kind of father that I wanted to be. And I write, "In the most basic
sense I have succeeded, my marriage is intact and my family is
provided for. I attend parent teacher conferences and dance recitals,
and my daughters bask in my adoration. And yet, of all the areas of my
life, it is in my capacities as a husband and father that I entertain
the most doubt." And I think that's true.

WINFREY: Everybody went `Umm.' Why? How so?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, you know, I think making sure that you don't get so
obsessed with your own ambitions, no matter how high-minded they may
sound, that you're not neglectful to a wife, a life partner who needs
support from you, to make sure that you're there for your children on
a more constant basis.

WINFREY: Because I hear a lot of politicians wives say they feel like
they're single parents.

Sen. OBAMA: Right.

WINFREY: Do you feel that?

Ms. OBAMA: You know, you always feel that way. I mean, when you've got
somebody who is traveling so much, that there's a level of that.
That's always been the nature of the beast. But it's not just the time
but it's the intent, right? I mean, it's what he does and how he
reflects the importance of our relationship when he is there.

WINFREY: Mm-hmm. We'll be right back.

Will he or won't he? I have to ask the question that's on everybody's
mind, next.


WINFREY: We're here with Senator Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
They're celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary today.

Sen. OBAMA: Thank you.

WINFREY: OK. I didn't want to put you on the spot, certainly not at
the beginning of the show, but I was on "Larry King." There was some
guy who wants me to run for president. I'm never going to run for any
public office. And I said on "Larry King" that I would like that guy
to put his energy behind somebody who would really make a difference
in this country and that would be you.

Sen. OBAMA: Thank you.

WINFREY: And I know I don't just speak for myself. There are a lot of
people who want to feel the audacity of hope, who want to feel that
America can be a better place for everybody. There are a lot of people
who would want you to run for the presidency of the United States.
Would you consider that?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, let me--I just want to point out to everybody that
she was deflecting attention off her.


Sen. OBAMA: Because everybody...

WINFREY: I was indeed.

Sen. OBAMA: Because they were trying to get her run and she said, `You
know, I'm going to throw Barack under the bus.' So I just want to

WINFREY: Not under, I threw you in front of the bus, not under.

Sen. OBAMA: The--you know, there's a wonderful thing--I think it was
Justice Louis Brandeis...


Sen. OBAMA: ...he said, "The most important office in a democracy is
the office of citizen."

WINFREY: I know that quote.

Sen. OBAMA: And we have an election coming up in '06...


Sen. OBAMA: ...that has been determined who's in power in Congress,
both the House and the Senate. And that's what I'm spending all my
energy devoting to is to make sure that people are paying attention to
this election. I don't care whether you're a Republican, a Democrat,
Independent. We've got some critical issues on health care, on energy,
on making sure our children are getting the education that makes them
competitive. What are we going to do about Iraq?


Sen. OBAMA: What are we going to do about...

WINFREY: What are we going to do about Iraq?

Sen. OBAMA: What are we going to do about the fight on terrorism.

WINFREY: What are we going to do about inner city schools?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, there's so many...

WINFREY: What are we going to do about that? Yeah.

Sen. OBAMA: ...major issues. And so I'm putting all my energy into
this election. And I want everybody to participate. I want us to have
an honest conversation about how we're going to solve these problems.
And I don't want negative ads. They're going to be there, but I want
the public to say, `If all you've got to do is to say something bad
about the other person then you're not solving the problems of the

WINFREY: Right. OK. So if you ever would decide to run within the next
five years, I'm going to have this show for five more years, would you
announce on this show?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, well, you know, I don't think I could say no to you.

WINFREY: OK. OK. So if you ever, ever decided that you would.

Sen. OBAMA: Oprah, you're my girl.

WINFREY: OK. That's all I ask.

Ms. OBAMA: Fair enough.

WINFREY: That's all I ask. And we'll be right back. That's it. I'll
never ask you again, OK?

Next, Senator Barack Obama talks about the heartbreak of losing his mother.


(Excerpt from videotape)

Sen. OBAMA: I remember my mother singing a song to me when I was a
tiny kid. This is one of my earliest memories when I was three or four
years old. And she would sing a song to me when I was going to sleep.
And I don't remember the song, but I remember there was a line in
there about my brown eyes and my brown skin and how wonderful that
was. And I wish I remembered the song. But that is the kind of thing
that's very deep in me. You know, a mother's love.

(End of excerpt)

WINFREY: And she wasn't alive to see you become senator.

Sen. OBAMA: No, she wasn't.

WINFREY: What would she think of all this?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, the saddest thing was she didn't see her
grandchildren. You know, she passed away of ovarian cancer when she
was only 53.


Sen. OBAMA: And you know, it was heartbreaking, obviously, in all
sorts of ways. But I think the thing that hurts the most is that she
didn't see her granddaughters. Because she just loved children. You
know, she would sit them in her lap and play with them and...

WINFREY: Do you think one of the reasons why you're so open to all
different kinds of people is because you are mixed?

Sen. OBAMA: Yeah, yeah. You know, there are little pieces of me from,
I think, all parts of world. And Michelle will tell you when we get
together for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's like a little mini United
Nations, you know?

WINFREY: Really?

Sen. OBAMA: You know, I've got--my sister's half Indonesian. I've
got--she's married to a...

Ms. OBAMA: Chinese Canadian.

Sen. OBAMA: He's Chinese Canadian. So we've got a little Asian...

Ms. OBAMA: Niece.

Sen. OBAMA: ...niece. And you know, I've got relatives who look like
Bernie Mac and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher.

WINFREY: Really?

Sen. OBAMA: So we've got it all--we've got it all covered.

WINFREY: That's great. And that makes you more understanding of other people?

Sen. OBAMA: You know what? It makes me very firm in the belief that
beneath the surface we all have the same hopes and dreams and fears
and are struggling with the same issues and love our children in the
same way and, you know, are struggling with our own flaws, trying to
make sure that we're doing right by our spouses. You know, the human
story is universe. It expresses itself...

WINFREY: It is not a Democratic or Republican story.

Sen. OBAMA: Democratic or Republican story. Look, those families we
saw in Darfur love their children in the same way, they just don't
have the same tools to care for them in the ways that--in the ways
that we hopefully care for our children.

WINFREY: One of my favorite quotes, as you know, is by the late Dr.
Martin Luther King, who says not everybody has--can be famous, but
everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service.
What is your vision of service for this country?

Sen. OBAMA: What I'd like to see is everybody thinking about, not just
me, but thinking about you.

WINFREY: Yeah. Thinking about what your mother said, how would that
make you feel.

Sen. OBAMA: How would that make you feel. And also, how to be useful.
You know, we reward people a lot for being rich or being famous or
being cute or being thin.


Sen. OBAMA: And one of the values that I think we need to instill in
our country, in our children, is the sense, are you useful?

WINFREY: Are you useful.

Sen. OBAMA: Are you useful to other people? Are you making other
people's lives a little bit better.

WINFREY: That's really good.

Sen. OBAMA: And that's something that--you know, when we have the
discussion about what values we want to lift up, that, I think, is the
value that we don't spend enough time talking to our children about.
How can you be useful to somebody else instead of just sitting there
playing PlayStation all day.

WINFREY: We'll be right back. We'll be right back.

Next, the one task Michelle wouldn't allow her husband to do.


WINFREY: Senator Obama. And his new book, "Audacity of Hope," is here
today with his wife Michelle. They have two daughters, eight-year-old
Malia and five-year-old Sasha. And the senator says people might be
surprised to know that while trying to solve world problems, he's also
ordering pizza for birthday parties. Tell us what happened when he
offered to get the goody bags, or grab bags.

Sen. OBAMA: Well, here's the context for the story is that Michelle...

WINFREY: I wanted her to tell the story. OK. But you're going to give
us a context?

Sen. OBAMA: I just want to give a context, is that, you know, I try to
make sure that I'm participating in these birthday events. And I have
to say that when I was a kid, I don't remember having, I think, one
birthday party the whole time I was growing up. And you basically had
a little cone hat, you know, and there'd be a cake.


Sen. OBAMA: And that was pretty much it. And now, there are birthday
parties all the time. And it requires more work. So Michelle is the
commander when it comes to the birthday parties.

Ms. OBAMA: So, you know, my view is you have to participate in the
organization process. So, and he's always wondering, well, what can I
do to be helpful? And I gave him a couple of, you know, tasks. I was
like get balloons, get pizza, have them there at X amount of time.
That's it. And I said, `Well, I have to get goody bags, I told him,
and he said `Well, I can get goody bags.' And I was like, `Oh, you
can't handle goody bags.' I said, `You walk into a party store and
it's quite a complicated thing.' You've got to get goody bags for
girls and boys and you got to get different things. I said, you'd walk
into that party store and your head would explode.' So I was like,
`You just leave the goody bags to me.'

Sen. OBAMA: But the pizza and balloons, they were there on time.

WINFREY: You can handle.

Ms. OBAMA: He can handle.

WINFREY: What did your oldest--what did your oldest daughter say to
you when friends come over?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, Malia, our eight-year-old, she is wonderfully
precocious. And so this is a typical conversation when I come home
after doing the people's business and working stuff in Washington. So
I walk in and she's got a friend there, a little girl named Sym. I say
hi, and put out my hand to shake Malia's friend's hand. She says,
`Daddy, can I tell you something?' She said, `Kids don't shake hands.
You know, this is the 21st century now.' And I say, `Well, what do
they do, exactly?' She says, `Well, maybe they say hey. They might

WINFREY: But they do not shake hands.

Sen. OBAMA: `But they do not shake hands.' I said, `I'm sorry to
embarrass you.' She said, `That's OK, daddy, you didn't know any
better.' So...

WINFREY: How do they handle all of this? You know, like when you go
out in public and people recognize you and coming up to you. Sometimes
that's difficult for kids because they think...

Ms. OBAMA: You know, they're real steady girls.

WINFREY: Are they steady?

Sen. OBAMA: Oh, yeah.

Ms. OBAMA: I mean, they're just real even. I mean, just the way they
handled Africa.


Ms. OBAMA: You know, that trip was overwhelming for me. And they just
sort of took it all in stride and took it in, and they're observant
but not sort of threatened. They're very outgoing and they understand
that people want to say hello to dad, and they're very patient, which
is why we have to be careful to really structure boundaries for them
because they, you know, they go with the flow. They'd let their time
be eaten up by other things. So it's really up to us to protect that
time, to make sure that we demand for them what they don't demand for
themselves, so.

WINFREY: So is this--is this--life has gotten harder for you or easier?

Ms. OBAMA: You know...

WINFREY: Or you're just working it?

Ms. OBAMA: You know, you just work it. You just go day to day. I mean,
there are just different pressures and stresses. You know, thanks to
the book, we have more resources so that's a good thing. But, you
know, there's still the question of how do you manage the public
reaction and how do you make sure that you have family time and make
sure that you have time for friends and that you don't go to--sort of
get swept up in this celebrity, that you don't get caught up in the
hype. And...

WINFREY: That you remain centered.

Ms. OBAMA: That you remain centered and focused.

WINFREY: I think you all are doing that really well.

Ms. OBAMA: Well, we're trying to.

WINFREY: Yes, very well.

Back in a moment. Very well.


WINFREY: You talk about reclaiming the American dream. I know you
write a lot about it. Do you think it's possible in our lifetime to
reclaim the American dream? Do you really think it's possible.

Sen. OBAMA: Absolutely, I think it's possible. You know, I think the
country is ready for a constructive, you know, hard-headed debate
about how we move the country forward. I love this country deeply. It
is the greatest country on Earth, and so--and I'm so lucky to be a
part of that process of trying to move forward.

WINFREY: And you're a good writer, too. You are a really good writer.

Sen. OBAMA: I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

WINFREY: Yeah, 'cause I read a lot of books and I wouldn't have
finished it if it wasn't a really good book, so thank you so very
much. "The Audacity of Hope."

Thank you. Happy anniversary.

Ms. OBAMA: Thank you.

Sen. OBAMA: Thank you.

WINFREY: Thank you. "The Audacity of Hope" in bookstores now. There it
is. Very nice.

Sen. OBAMA: Thank you.

WINFREY: Good job.