Obama on 60 Minutes
It’s not the only thing people will be watching for over the next two years. It’s the beginning of a long examination in which every utterance will be scrutinized, every speech dissected, every gaffe and foible magnified for close inspection to determine whether he is up to the task.
It's possible that, you know, after we go through this whole process that the voters conclude: 'You know what. He's not ready.' And I respect that," Obama says. "I don't expect that simply because I can move people in speeches that that automatically qualifies me for this job. I think that I have to be tested and run through the paces, and I have to earn this job."
He has a foreign sounding name that rhymes with "Osama," his middle name is Hussein, and he has admitted to using marijuana and cocaine as a teenager. Racially he is half black, half white, and in terms of political experience, green.
With just seven years in the state legislature, and two in the United States Senate, it would be easy to dismiss him, were it not for the fact that he is running second in the polls behind Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. On Saturday, 17,000 people braved frigid weather to watch him declare his candidacy in Springfield Ill., where correspondent Steve Kroft joined him on the eve of his speech.
"Three years ago, you were a state legislator here in Springfield. What makes you think that you're qualified to be president of the United States?" Kroft asks.
"You know, I think we're in a moment of history where probably the most important thing we need to do is to bring the country together and one of the skills that I bring to bear is being able to pull together the different strands of American life and focus on what we have in common," Obama replies
Obama says he has no doubts that he's ready to run. Asked where he gets all this confidence, the senator jokes, "My wife asks me that all the time.