Obama Wants to Aid Many Who Feel Ignored
Democrat Barack Obama said Thursday night he is running for president to help those who are working harder for less but don't think anyone is listening to them. Fresh from a presidential debate in suburban Des Moines, Obama joked of his performance: "I thought I was perfect."
Turning serious, though, he said many voters realize this presidential election comes at a defining moment for the country.
"The dream that so many people fought for so many years feels like it is slipping away, and you know it in your own lives. Americans are working harder and harder for less," he said, adding that "they don't feel as if anybody is listening to them, they don't feel as if Washington is responsible to the concerns of the American people.
"That's why I'm running for president, because I want you to be heard. I want you to be heard," he said.
Obama also took questions from potential voters watching in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two states with presidential nominating contests in January. He appeared with Gayle King, a close friend of talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, who campaigned with Obama in all three states last weekend.
Obama praised King, the editor of Oprah's magazine, saying she is "literally one of the nicest people I know." But he jokingly added: "It is, I have to say, getting a little tiresome for me to be completely upstaged by these strong women all the time, and that includes my wife, Michelle."
When King asked about Michelle Obama's role in the White House if he is elected, Obama said his wife is more concerned with raising their two daughters than with any Cabinet-type role.
"Her role is whatever her passion or sort of cause I think that she thinks she can make the biggest difference, but if you ask her, what she'll tell you is her primary goal is raising Malia and Sasha," he said. "... Which isn't to say she won't be telling me what to do, although _ Does the president throw out the trash? I don't think so, I think there's some sort of system there."
Obama also shared that he was able to help trim the family Christmas tree. He said he flew to Chicago on a recent evening and "got them bundled up. We went to the tree place, got the tree, put it in the stand, got the lights up and then I had to fly to D.C. for a vote ... but the tree's done."