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More thoughts on my Obama interview

Justin Webb | 22:00 UK time, Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Apologies for overstating the extent of Egyptian President Mubarak's time in office - I suppose I could claim he is aiming for 38, but that would be cheap.

The reach of my interview with President Obama - not in hotel rooms but in the real living rooms of real people - was as colossal as we promised the White House.

It went from here to here, via here.

(Interestingly, the first two of those websites can be described as conservative.)

My question (actually the question of a colleague but it is a good one) is this: will this internationalist rationalist president learn this week that much of the outside world is not on board for a quiet sensible chat about what makes sense and what does not.

And an observation after meeting him: he should ditch the search for a church and become a Quaker. Talking to him about family matters (type one diabetes of course) he was sympathetic and engaged and plain-spoken without at any stage being the slightest bit sentimental or gushing.

He reminded me of my mother's friends at home in Bath in the UK - direct and serious.

At some stage he is going to have to decide as well whether or not he believes in American exceptionalism.

I do: not in the sense of superiority but in the sense of qualitative uniqueness. Does he? (Rush - don't answer!)


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