More than eight months after being forced to perform his monologue from a tub, Stephen Colbert finally conducted a personal interview. And he couldn’t have asked for a bigger guest.
The Late show the host traveled to Washington DC this week to sit a healthy distance with former President Barack Obama and talk about his new bestselling memories Land of promise and the dangerous state of American democracy in the last days of President Donald Trump.
“I just want to take a minute to drink you for just a moment,” Colbert said at the beginning of the interview. “Because I have to get used to looking at the president again.” I’m used to it. I need to warm up for Joe Biden. I don’t want to pull anything when I see him take the oath of office.
He seems to agree with this assessment, Obama said: “We have the opportunity to return to a presidency that actually watches the attention of all people and not just a few people and tries to do well.”
For the most part, Colbert decided to put aside the man who was still the current president and explained that he had talked enough about him for the past four years.
More often than not, it was Obama who, if not by name, returned to Donald Trump and called for his administration’s “shambolic” response to the COVID-19 epidemic, adding that it was not “rocket science” to simply take scientific advice seriously.
To the presenter’s question, was he surprised that Republicans didn’t see the “political benefits” of behaving as if they were “interested,” Obama said, “I think that’s the extent of how detached from reality, and how embedded ideological and conspiratorial thinking has become where you do it even when you’re at a disadvantage. “
Demonstrating the surprising historical knowledge of Colbert’s career, he added, “It’s true in your original show that you’re satirizing a certain attitude, but you never thought people would really believe it.”
“I didn’t know I was a prophet,” Colbert replied. – I thought I was a comedian.
“You couldn’t put out a few things you see,” Obama said. “And that’s to the detriment of the country, but it’s contrary to what would have been a smart policy if Republicans wanted to maintain the White House.”
“And it’s more worrying in some ways, because it’s not even strategic now,” he continued. – You think this feels confusing to your own Kool-Aid device. And one of Joe Biden’s big challenges is figuring out how to puncture the information bubble in which not only Republican officials but a significant portion of voters are present. “
As Trump continues to deny that he rightly lost against Biden, Colbert reminded Obama of the gracious way in which he invited his successor to the White House for a meeting and photo shoot shortly after the 2016 election. The presenter said it was a “cool moment” to watch because he had an “emotional flash” of how Trump could have abused the dignity of the office during his first term. “Did you feel similar at that moment?” asked.
“Yes, it’s a concern,” Obama replied. When Colbert asked if these concerns were “justified,” Obama said they “exceeded.”