Looking Back

Obama Admits His First Term Could've Used More Flair

President Obama sat down with Charlie Rose Thursday--Michelle by his side--and told the CBS anchor that the biggest mistake of his first term was focusing too much on policy and not enough on creating a relatable narrative for the public. "When I think about what we've done well and what we haven't done well, the mistake of my first term...was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that's important," he said. "But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times." Obama noted the irony of the fact that, when he was running for president, "everybody said, 'well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?' And in my first two years, I think the notion was, 'Well, he's been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where's the story that tells us where he's going?' And I think that's a legitimate criticism."