As we get closer and closer to the Presidential election, Barack Obama sat down with Eric Bates for a lengthy Rolling Stone interview:
RS: It’s January 20th. You take office. Look at what you’re confronting: the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, the climate heating up faster than anyone imagined, dangerous nuclear instability around the world…
Obama: Two wars. Yeah, we got some problems.
RS: Do you still want the job?
Obama: I tell you what — now is the time, I think, to want the job. Because this is going to be a transitional moment for the United States. We have these moments periodically. Obviously, I wish that the Bush administration had not run things into the ground so bad, but no matter what, we would have had some big decisions to make. We have a big decision to make about our energy. We have a big decision to make about health care. We have a big decision to make about how do we revamp our education system to compete in a global economy. We have a big decision to make about our foreign policy and how we deal with transnational threats like terrorism, climate change — eventually pandemic, refugee flows, genocide.
RS: So how do you prioritize with so many explosive crises occurring all at once?
Obama: No matter what, there’s going to be the need for a paradigm shift. The problem is that Bush has left us with very few resources to deal with these issues, and the economy’s in a weakened state. But I decided to run this time — which was relatively early in comparison to some other presidents, or other candidates — precisely because I thought the skills I have might be important at this time. So I welcome the challenge, and I think America can rise to it.