With less than three months to go before he leaves the White House to one of two very different potential successors, President Barack Obama made what could well be his first and last appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (not counting a brief cameo on Colbert’s post-Super Bowl show).
But instead of sitting down for the type of thoughtful interview that Colbert conducted with Vice President Joe Biden during his first week on CBS, Obama participated in a taped mock job-interview sketch with “Randy,” Colbert’s office-manager character.
“I don’t see any promotions for the last eight years, that’s not always good. Can you explain that?” Colbert asked, to which Obama replied, “Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of room for advancement in my last job. The only one with a more powerful position was my wife.”
Asked why he’s leaving office in January, Obama explained that it’s “required by the 22nd Amendment.” But as Colbert told him, “When you say that staying at your old job would be unconstitutional, what employers hear is that you stole office supplies.” When he asked where the president was born, Obama just stared at him for a few seconds before asking, “Really?”
Looking back on his time in office, Obama told Colbert, “I brokered international deals that slowed the impact of climate change and prevented Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” When Colbert asked him why he received the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama quipped, “To be honest, I still don’t know.”
Obama also found a way to work in his sincere message to millennials: “I tell them straight-up that this is the most important election of their lifetimes, that they have the opportunity to make history, and that the results in November could change their lives forever so they have to get out there and vote.”
While Colbert did not ask Obama to make an official presidential endorsement on this show, he did ask him to pick between two snack options. In one hand was an “extra-fiber nutrient bar, which has traveled to more than 100 countries.” In the other was a “shriveled tangerine, covered in golden retriever hair, filled with bile, that I wouldn’t leave alone with the woman I love.”
The choice was obvious.
Obama summed up his feeling about the sketch when Colbert asked him, “Ultimately, what do you want to be?” and he replied, “Done with this interview.”