In an interview that aired Tuesday, NBC host Matt Lauer asked President Barack Obama what he would tell himself at the start of his presidency if he could go back in time.
“If 54-year-old Barack Obama could go back and talk to 47-year-old Barack Obama, who’d only been president 11 days, what would you tell him that he didn’t know about being president?” Lauer asked.
Obama initially responded with a joke.
“Well, I would tell him first of all that your hair’s going to go grayer at lot faster than you anticipated,” he quipped.
The president went on to say he would tell a younger Obama to focus more on communicating US policy to the American people:
I think the most important thing I would say to an earlier version of myself would be to communicate constantly and with confidence to the American people. Because this place has a tendency to isolate you. You recognise that, particularly during times of stress, the American people need to hear from their president in terms of what it is exactly that we’re trying to do.
“Things that I’ve done well during the campaign I have not always done well while I’ve been president,” he added.
Obama gave the interview to NBC’s “Today” show to preview his final State of the Union address, which is set for Tuesday night.
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