"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008
In his Super Bowl Interview with Bill O'Reilly yesterday, President Obama finally backed away from his infamously radically extreme comment about "fundamentally transforming the United States of America. In an exchange at the end of the interview Obama denied that he thinks "we" have to fundamentally America:
O'REILLY: "Mr. President, why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity and success?"
OBAMA: I don't think we have to fundamentally transform the nation...
O'REILLY: But those are your words.
OBAMA: I think that what we have to do is make sure that here in America, if you work hard, you can get ahead. Bill, you and I benefitted from this incredible country of ours, in part, because there were good jobs out there that paid a good wage, because you had public schools that functioned well, that we could get scholarships if we didn't come from a wealthy family, in order to go to college.
OBAMA: That, you know, if you worked hard, not only did you have a good job, but you also had decent benefits, decent health care...
O'REILLY: They're cutting me off...
OBAMA: -- and for a lot of folks, we don't have that. We've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can to expand the middle class...
O'REILLY: All right...
OBAMA: -- and work hard and people who are working hard can get into the middle class.
So why would Obama, after five years, finally back away from his radical fundamentally changing America remark?
Has he decided, as George Will suggested Obama should in his excellent 2012 "Obama: the real radical" column, to finally take a "first step toward accommodation with a country increasingly concerned about his unmasked determination to 'transform' what the Founders considered 'fundamentals?'"
In that October 1, 2013, "Obama: Transforming America" column linked above, Victor Davis Hanson discusses how much Obama has succeeded in transforming the United States in many areas including:
- Federal Spending;
- Taxes and Debt;
- Health Care;
- Interest Rates;
- The Presidency, with regard to scandals -- the Benghazi Deception, the IRS Scandal, the NSA Disclosures, the AP Monitoring and Fast and Furious;
- Illegal Immigration;
- Foreign policy; and
O'Reilly's interview has been called tense and contentious. I didn't see it that way. What I saw was a well-prepared Obama smoothly pivoting on every question to his talking points. He made O'Reilly look bad.
On the ObamaCare roll out train wreck:
OBAMA: Well, I think we all anticipated there would be glitches, because any time you've got technology, a new program rolling out, there are going to be some glitches. I don't think I anticipated or anybody anticipated the degree of the problems with the Web site. And...
On not firing Kathleen Sebelius:
OBAMA: Yes, well, I -- I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable. But when we're...
And that was after several talking points putting a positive spin on ObamaCare's horrendous numbers.
On the political lie of the year, Obama's oft repeated, if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance:
OBAMA: -- you were very generous in saying I look pretty good considering I've been in the presidency for five years. And I think part of the reason is, I try to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan.
O'Reilly tried the hardest on Benghazi. If any part of the interview was contentious, it was Benghazi. Still I think Obama kept the upper hand:
OBAMA: -- Bill, listen, I -- I -- I've gone through this and we have had multiple hearings on it. What happens is you have an attack like this taking place and you have a mix of folks who are just troublemakers. You have folks who have an ideological agenda.
O'REILLY: All right.
OBAMA: You have some who are affiliated with terrorist organizations. You have some that are not. But the main thing that all of us have to take away from this is our diplomats are serving in some very dangerous places.
Then there was the politicization of the IRS:
O'REILLY: But no mass corruption?
OBAMA: Not even mass corruption, not even a smidgen of corruption, I would say.
All in all a good but mild interview for Obama; which is itself a fundamental transformation for the man who hoped to tame the oceans and change the world.