Obama on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”

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SHARE Obama on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA ON THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

for the transcript, click below…

from ABC News…

MAY 13, 2007

Today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) in his first Sunday morning interview since announcing his 2008 presidential run.

A rush transcript of the interview, which aired this morning, Sunday, May 13, 2007 on ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos, is below.

This week on our roundtable, ABC News Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, and George Will join Mr. Stephanopoulos to debate the weeks politics. And, actress Brooke Shields talks about her personal battle with postpartum depression and her support for the MOTHERS Act–legislation that would initiate new federal investment in postpartum depression education and treatment programs for new mothers.

All excerpts must be attributed to ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Katherine OHearn is the executive producer of This Week and George Stephanopoulos is the anchor. The program airs Sundays on the ABC Television Network (check local listings).

Visit the This Week website to read more about the show at http://abcnews.go.com/politics

-ABC-

“THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS”

SPEAKERS:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS

[*]

STEPHANOPOULOS: This week, Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There is not a black America and a white America. My

candidacy for president of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: In a “This Week” exclusive, we’re on the trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve never served in the military.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve never been an executive.

OBAMA: OK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s the most difficult crisis you’ve had to

manage in your public life?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the freshman senator ready for the White

House?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I’m not naive enough to think that if we all hold hands

and sing “Kumbaya” that somehow health care gets solved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And is the country ready for him?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If I don’t win, it’s not going to be because of my race.

It’s going to be because I didn’t project a vision of leadership that

gave people confidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: George Will, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson

debate the week’s politics on our roundtable.

Plus, Brooke Shields.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: My story was so common that I thought maybe this will

help one other mother who thinks that they should be ashamed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And as always, the Sunday Funnies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: And Vice President Cheney

made a surprise visit to Iraq today. Great. The one place we need

him firing off his gun, he doesn’t bring it. He just goes over

there…

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone, and happy Mother’s Day.

We begin today back on the trail with our exclusive headliner, Barack

Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: You da man. You da man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Three months into a presidential campaign, after

less than three years in the Senate, Obama is raising big money and

drawing huge crowds. Unlike his top rivals for the Democratic

nomination, Obama was against the war in Iraq from the start.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I don’t oppose war in all circumstances. What I do

oppose is a dumb war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: But here in Iowa this week…

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Good to see you. Hi, guys!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: … most of the questions from relatively small

crowds hit closer to home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: How do we get rid of our dependence on a single

automobile and have mass transportation that works?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And at every stop…

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Nice to see you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: … the 45-year-old who would be America’s first

African-American president addressed the key question of his campaign:

Is he ready for the job?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I’m confident about my ability to lead this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: When we sat down in Des Moines, I asked Obama

where he got that confidence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OBAMA: Well, you know, I think it comes from the set of

experiences that I brought with me to this race.

As somebody who worked as a community organizer in Chicago, not

knowing anybody when I arrived and being able to pull people together

around the issues that folks were facing after they’d gotten laid off

of work; the work that I’ve done as a civil rights lawyer and a

constitutional law professor.

And then in the state senate, being able to get Democrats and

Republicans together around tough issues like reforming the death

penalty or expanding health insurance for kids — those skills seem to

have translated in Washington.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve never served in the military.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve never been an executive.

OBAMA: OK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s the most difficult crisis you’ve had to

manage in your public life?

OBAMA: Well, you know, the truth is, in my public life as a

legislator, most of the difficult tasks have been to build consensus

around hard problems.

And what I think the country needs more than anything right now

is somebody who has the capacity to identify areas of common interest,

common good, build a consensus around it and get things done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is part of the job. There’s no question

about it.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know a big part of the job of a

president is what you do in a crisis…

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … the crisis you didn’t expect.

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you never really ever had to deal with

something like that, right?

OBAMA: Well, what I think is absolutely legitimate is that my

political career has been on the legislative side and not in the

executive branch.

Now, that’s true for a lot of my colleagues, you know, who aren’t

governors.

And one of the things that I hope over the course of this

campaign I show, is the capacity to manage this pretty unwieldy

process of a political race. And one of the great things about the

press is that they’re going to be watching very carefully…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Every move you make.

OBAMA: … every move you make, and to make sure that people

have a sense of how I deal with adversity, how I deal with mistakes,

who do I have around me to make sure that we’re executing on the

things that need to get done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One moment that got a lot of scrutiny was at the

debate. You were asked what you would do if al Qaida attacked two

American cities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: How would you change the U.S. military

stance overseas as a result?

OBAMA: Well, the first thing we’d have to do is make sure that

we’ve got an effective emergency response, something that this

administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: What you didn’t say in your first answer is that

you would strike back.

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And a lot of your rivals said, boy, it shows

that his instincts are soft.

OBAMA: Well, look. I will repeat what I said, which is that the

first thing I would do is make sure that the emergency response was

appropriate and the people were safe.

The second thing I’d do is make sure that we weren’t going to

have another attack, and that we had adequate intelligence to make

sure that that was prevented.

The third thing I would do is to find out who had perpetrated the

crime, and then I would attack.

Now, that, I think, is how every American should want their

president to operate. And that is something that I think is the kind

of judgment that we’re going to need out of a chief executive —

somebody who can respond in a crisis to make sure that the American

people are safe, that the international community has confidence about

the intelligence that we are operating under.

But I don’t think there can be any doubt that I would strike

swiftly, promptly and vigorously, if there was an attack.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your heroes is Abe Lincoln. He was

ruthless when he had to be. Can you be ruthless?

OBAMA: You know, I think that somebody who has arrived where I

am out of Chicago politics has to have a little bit of steel in him.

I have the capacity, I think, to make strong decisions, even if

they’re unpopular, even if they’re uncomfortable, even if sometimes I

lose some friends. And I’ve shown that.

When I opposed the war in Iraq, back in 2002, as I was running

for the U.S. Senate, Bush’s poll ratings were sky high. And the

conventional wisdom — not just in Washington, but all across the

country — was that it was political suicide to get out front and

oppose this thing.

And I did, knowing the potential consequences, because I thought

that was the right thing to do. And that kind of willingness to stand

up in difficult situations, I think, has characterized my career.

And that, I think, is what people are looking for. It’s not just

talking tough, because the truth is, nobody has talked tougher than

George Bush over the last six years. Being tough means, first of all,

not having to talk about it all the time. And the second is being

able to apply to apply judgment and understanding where can you get

things done by cooperation, and where do you have to make tough

decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about Iraq. President Clinton says,

it’s ludicrous to characterize Hillary and Obama’s positions on the

war as polar opposites. Is he right?

OBAMA: Well, I don’t think they’re polar opposites. I would

agree with that.

I think that my position, though, has been clear from the start

and has been consistent, which is that I thought this was a bad idea.

I said so from the start.

I also said, even as I said it was a bad idea, that once we were

in, it was going to be tough to get out, and that we were going to

have some responsibilities to be as careful getting out as we were

careless getting in.

And I’ve been consistent in that…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But back…

OBAMA: … position.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But back in 2003, you were against supplemental

funding for the war. You gave a speech where you said, I would vote

against the $87 billion.

OBAMA: That is true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: And I say so unequivocally, because at a certain point,

we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled,

we’re not going to save the ship.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: And the reason was because I was trying to establish a

principle at that time — and I said this at the time — that for us

to be giving $20 billion in reconstruction dollars, in a no-bid

process where money could potentially be wasted, was a problem.

But what I also said at that time was that the $67 billion that

was needed for the troops was something that I would gladly vote for.

And I’ve been consistent in saying that, as much as I think this has

been, if not the biggest, then one of the biggest foreign policy

blunders in history, I want to make sure that our troops who are on

the ground, who have performed magnificently, aren’t caught in the

political crossfire in Washington.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you said then that you have to say no to

George Bush, because we can’t get steamrolled.

Yet you go in the Senate, your critics say, and vote for the

funding every single time.

OBAMA: Because at that point, you’ve got hundreds of thousands

of young men and women who have to carry out the mission on behalf of

the American people. It’s not their fault that our civilian

leadership made bad decisions.

And what I wanted to make sure of was that they had the night

vision goggles they needed, the humvees that they needed.

And I also felt, and I continue to feel this way, that if we

could create some semblance of stability and success in Iraq, that

would be a good thing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, your position now is, we should get 16

senators — you’re giving the speech everywhere — to come forward and

vote for the Democratic bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: That’s how much it takes for a veto-proof majority to

tell the president that it’s time to bring our troops home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is not going to happen.

OBAMA: Well, see, that I’d disagree with. There was a reason

why there were 11 Republican House members, all of whom had been loyal

soldiers to the president, who went to the White House this week and

told him, we need a change of policy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet they all said they would vote for the

funding right now.

OBAMA: Well, of course they all said that right now. But the

point is, is that we have to ratchet up pressure. We have to get

those members to recognize that the time for us to bring this war to a

close is now, and that we can do it in a responsible way. We can do

it in a way that doesn’t play games with our troops on the ground.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, does that mean, next week or the week after,

when the war funding bill comes forward — it doesn’t have the

timeline for withdrawal, but it does have benchmarks — you vote for

it?

OBAMA: It’s going to depend on what the bill looks like.

I don’t believe in giving George Bush a blank check.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, it would have to be some kind of

restriction, some…

OBAMA: There’s got to be something that signals the president is

changing course, and that there are consequences to the Iraqi

government failing to meet some of the benchmarks that we’re talking

about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you want troops to come out — combat troops

— to come out by the end of March…

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … of next year.

What’s your assumption of what Iraq looks like on April 1st,

2008?

OBAMA: Well, I think that if we’ve done it responsibly, if the

commanders on the ground have been able to do it in an orderly

process, and if we’ve got the diplomatic efforts that are needed to

ensure that parties are talking to each other, then my assumption is

there might be some spikes in violence some places in Iraq, but that

we will have triggered a conversation, a changed dynamic in Iraq and

in the region, where people start recognizing, you know what? We’re

going to have to carry some weight here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is certainly the hope. But what if you’re

wrong?

OBAMA: Well…

STEPHANOPOULOS: What if al Qaeda continues to build? What if

the Shiites unleash a genocide on the Sunnis? Does President Obama go

back in?

OBAMA: There are no good options in Iraq right now. We have bad

options and worse options. That’s why I didn’t think we should go in

in the first place.

It is my judgment that the only thing that can change the

political dynamic is the phased redeployment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you believe that the United States has a

responsibility to go back in, if we don’t get the results you hope

for?

OBAMA: I think that we have a national security interest in the

region. That means we can’t abandon the field entirely. It means

that we’re going to have to ensure that you don’t have spillover of

violence throughout the region.

I think we have some moral and humanitarian responsibilities to

the Iraqi people, and that has to be factored in.

I can’t anticipate what Iraq will look like a year from now,

because so much depends on how we carry out this phased redeployment

and how effective we are when it comes to diplomacy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your big issues is ethics reform.

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you faced a lot of criticism back home in

Chicago about a land deal you entered into with a longtime friend and

contributor of yours named Rezko.

You bought a house. He bought an adjacent plot, this exact same

day. Several months later, you bought part of the plot back from him.

All at that time, it was known that he was being investigated for

corruption and kickbacks.

What were you thinking?

OBAMA: Well, obviously, I wasn’t thinking enough.

I’m very proud of my ethics record. I mean, I was famous in

Springfield for not allowing lobbyists to even buy me lunch.

And so, you know, this is one time where I didn’t see the

appearance of impropriety, because I paid full price for the land.

There has been no allegations of anything other than that.

But it raised the possibility that here was somebody who was a

friend of mine who was doing me a favor. And I’ve said it was a bone-

headed mistake.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you explain the blind spot?

OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that — you know, we had bought a

house for the first time. And we were trying to figure out how to set

the whole thing up. And you know, this is somebody that I had known

for some time. It was an above-board, legal transaction. I paid more

than the price of the property that I had purchased.

And so, the assumption was that this was all above board.

And the important thing, though, is to note that, in all my

conduct, there has never been any implications, including in this

situation, that I in any way used my office to do favors for people,

to help folks betray the public trust in any sort of way.

And that is something that I am very proud of, and that’s part of

the reason why, in this campaign, it’s so important for me to talk

about the need, not just to win elections, but to change how our

politics work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about taxes.

In a town meeting, you said you were willing to roll back

President Bush’s tax cuts to help pay for your health care plan when

you announce it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent

people who don’t need it would be a good way of helping to pay for the

additional services that were needed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Edwards has said he would consider going

farther, raising taxes beyond that on the wealthy. Are you?

OBAMA: Well, I think the starting point has to be, “Are we

spending out current money wisely?” That has to be the starting

point, and I think that’s true on health care, that we can save about

$75 billion a year by increasing prevention, managing the chronically

ill, applying medical technology.

Once we have seen what savings can be obtained, then my absolute

commitment is to make sure that we’ve got universal health care in

this country, and I will find the money to make up the difference.

QUESTION: So if it take new taxes, so be it?

OBAMA: If it takes a rollback of those tax cuts, I think that

will be sufficient to pay for the health care fund.

Now, there are other areas where we’ve got to make some

investments.

I have not made a promise — and I won’t make a promise — that

I’m going to be able to perfectly balance the budget immediately.

What I can say is that we’re going to pay as you go; that if I

start a new program, I’ll find a way to pay for it; if I want tax

cuts, then I’m going to find a way to pay for them; and that, over the

long term, we get a stable budget that is not simply running up the

credit card on our children.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve also said that with Social Security,

everything should be on the table.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising the retirement age?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising payroll taxes?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table. I think we should

approach it the same way Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan did back in

1983. They came together. I don’t want to lay out my preferences

beforehand, but what I know is that Social Security is solvable. It

is not as difficult a problem as we’re going to have with Medicaid and

Medicare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Partial privatization?

OBAMA: Privatization is not something that I would consider, and

the reason is this: Social Security, I think, is — that’s the floor.

That’s the baseline. Social Security is that safety net that can’t be

frayed, and we shouldn’t put at risk.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your candidacy brings the issue of race right to

the top…

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … of the national conversation. You’ve been a

strong supporter of affirmative action…

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … and you’re a constitutional law professor,

so let’s go back in the classroom. I’m your student, I say,

“Professor, you and your wife went to Harvard Law School. You’ve got

plenty of money. You’re running for president. Why should your

daughters, when they go to college, get affirmative action?”

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think that my daughters should

probably be treated by any admissions officer as folks who are pretty

advantaged, and I think that there’s nothing wrong with us taking that

into account as we consider admissions policies at universities.

I think that we should take into account white kids who have been

disadvantaged and have grown up in poverty and shown themselves to

have what it takes to succeed.

So I don’t think those concepts are mutually exclusive. I think

what we can say is that in our society, race and class still

intersect, that there are a lot of African-American kids who are still

struggling, that even those who are in the middle class may be first

generation as opposed to fifth or sixth generation college attendees,

and that we all have an interest in bringing as many people together

to help build this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that in 25 years,

affirmative action may no longer be necessary. Is she right?

OBAMA: I would like to think that if we make good decisions and

we invest in early childhood education, improve K-12, if we have done

what needs to be done to ensure that kids who are qualified to go to

college can afford it, that affirmative action becomes a diminishing

tool for us to achieve racial equality in this society.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have a very cool style when you’re doing

those town meetings, when you’re out on the campaign trail. And I

wonder, how much of that is tied to your race?

OBAMA: That’s interesting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your friends told the New Yorker Magazine

that “the mainstream is just not ready for a fire-breathing black

man.” Did you turn down the temperature on purpose?

OBAMA: You know, I don’t think it has to do with race. I think

it has to do with when I’m campaigning, I’m in a conversation. And

what I don’t do when I’m campaigning is to try to press a lot of hot

buttons and use a lot of cheap applause lines, because I want people

to get a sense of how I think about this process.

OBAMA: I want them to have some ability to walk through with me

the difficult choices that we face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We’re spending $275 million a day, a day, in Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: And I think that one of the problems with political

speeches is that we all know what folks want to hear. We know who the

conventional, stereotypical enemies are on any given issue, and we

have a tendency, I think, to play up to that. And I actually think

that we’re in this moment in history right now where honesty,

admitting complexity is a good thing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about passion? How about anger? I mean,

you’ve written about how you dealt with issues of anger. Don’t you

think sometimes voters need to see that too?

OBAMA: Oh, absolutely, and I think they do see it. Listen, the

one thing that I don’t think people are going to be able to accuse me

of is not being able to give a fiery speech. I came onto the national

scene after getting folks fired up pretty good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There is not a black America and a white America and

Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of

America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: But keep in mind, I’m not interested in bringing people

together just for the sake of bringing people together. I’m not naive

enough to think that if we all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” that

somehow health care gets solved or, you know, education gets solved.

Right now, what we need to make significant progress on these problems

is to be able to build enough bridges to get things done.

So, I’m furious about the young men that I see standing on

corners on the South Side of Chicago without hope, without

opportunity, without prospects for the future. I am furious about the

mothers I meet here in Iowa who are giving me hugs and telling me

about their son who died in a war and asking, did their son die for a

mistake?

It breaks my heart. But what I know is that the only way we’re

going to solve the problem is not to assign blame. It’s to say,

“Here’s a vision for the future that we can do something about.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve had to ask for Secret Service protection

awful early in this campaign. Were you reluctant?

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why?

OBAMA: I’m not an entourage guy. You know, up until recently, I

was still, you know, taking my wife Michelle’s grocery list and going

to the grocery store once in awhile. And so obviously it’s

constrained, but I’m obviously appreciate of their efforts. They’re

extraordinarily professional.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Durbin, your friend, who talked to the

review board, said a lot of the threats that were coming in are

racially motivated. How serious are they? How much are you told?

How much do you worry about it?

OBAMA: You know, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it

or considering the details of this. But just to broaden the issue,

are there people who would be troubled with an African-American

president? Yes. Are there folks who might not vote for me because

I’m African-American? No doubt.

What I’m confident about, though, as I travel around the country,

is that people are decent at their core in America. The vast majority

of folks want to do the right thing.

If I don’t win, it’s not going to be because of my race. It’s

going to be because I didn’t project a vision of leadership that gave

people confidence. It’s going to be because of something I didn’t do

as opposed to because I’m African-American.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve been thinking about running for president

a long time. Your brother-in-law says he talked to you about it in

the early ’90s.

OBAMA: He might have brought it up. I’m not sure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you dispute that?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: You know, what’s wonderful about this whole process is

that everybody has — everybody looks at me now through the lens of

where I am now. You know, I had my high school teacher saying what a

wonderful, studious guy he was. And I was goofing off the whole time,

and they were calling up the principal. I think there’s a lot of

self-correction that takes place (inaudible).

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but there’s one more. Valerie Jarrett, a

good friend of the family says, you told her in your Senate race, “I

just think I have some special qualities, and wouldn’t it be a shame

to waste them.”

OBAMA: That, I think I probably did say.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are they?

OBAMA: I think that I have the capacity to get people to

recognize themselves in each other. I think that I have the ability

to make people get beyond some of the divisions that plague our

society and to focus on common sense and reason.

OBAMA: And that’s been in short supply over the last several

years.

You know, I’m not an ideologue. Never have been. Even during my

younger days when I was tempted by sort of more radical or left-wing

politics, there was a part of me that always was a little bit

conservative in that sense, that believes that you make progress by

sitting down, listening to people, recognizing everybody’s concerns,

seeing other people’s points of views, and them making decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question. Everyone is going to be

watching this on Mother’s Day, and a lot of America is going to get to

know a lot about you over the next year, but they’re never going to

know your mom. She passed away a little more than 10 years ago.

What’s the most important lesson she taught you?

OBAMA: She was the sweetest soul I’ve ever known, and I think

that quality that I just talked about, the capacity to see the world

through somebody else’s eyes or to stand in their shoes, is what she

gave to me in great abundance. And I think that capacity is what’s

needed right now in this moment.

There have been other moments in history where maybe some other

skills were needed, but I think bringing the country together — and,

by the way, bringing the world together — so that there’s that sense

of mutual recognition is something that I get directly from my mother.

And I think her spirit acts powerfully on me throughout the course of

this campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, thanks very much.

OBAMA: Thank you so much, George. I appreciate it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is next with George Will, Cokie

Roberts and Sam Donaldson. And later, Brooke Shields.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: My husband in desperation just begged me to just go

back to the same doctor who said, oh, don’t worry about it, it will

pass. It’s the baby blues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(ROUNDTABLE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our Mother’s Day Voice, Brooke Shields.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: And here I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: She took her star power to Capitol Hill this

week, pushing Congress to pass legislation for new mothers fighting

depression.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHIELDS: We are taught that being a mother and becoming a mother

is the most glorious thing you could ever do. It’s the most natural

thing. If you don’t do this beautifully, then you are wrong, you

know, you are not a good mother. You’re not a good woman.

After the birth of my first daughter, I experienced acute

postpartum depression, but I was not really aware that I had it. It

was devastating to my whole family. I had gone through numerous

attempts to have a baby, and then I finally did have this perfect,

beautiful, healthy baby, and it all but destroyed me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: The knowledge of postpartum is a tool that I believe

all women deserve. And this bill represents that tool. And it’s an

easy gift to give to women everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHIELDS: There is an entire population of women suffering. And

it’s so much more prevalent than anyone ever really, really wants to

admit. And it’s time, I believe, for Congress to step in and prevent

that, and actually save lives and save potential tragedy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can hear more from Brooke Shields and learn

more about the Mothers Act on our website at abcnews.com.

And now, the Sunday Funnies.

(SUNDAY FUNNIES)

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s our show for today. Coming up next week,

another “This Week” exclusive, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Thanks for sharing part of your Mother’s Day with us. We’ll see

you next week.

END

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