The program starts out with all the heart-rending pathos that a corporate media powerhouse can muster: a nine-year-old clip of adorable little Malia Obama kvetching about Candidate Daddy's limited culinary skills and personal sloppiness. See - he was just like us then, and at his core, he's still just like us now!
Fast forward to some revelatory highlights in his Big Exit Interview. It turns out that despite regrets over his deficient propaganda skills, he can still scapegoat with the best of them:
And I will confess that, I didn’t fully appreciate the ways in which individual senators or members of Congress now are pushed to the extremes by their voter bases. I did not expect, particularly in the midst of crisis, just how severe that partisanship would be.Obama doesn't blame the money in politics unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. He doesn't blame the psychopaths of finance capital or the billionaire Koch Brothers for the extremism. He blames those danged voters clinging to their guns and religion. The poor frazzled congress critters are pushed to their sadistic extremes, not by their own corruption and greed, fueled by the corporate lobbyists who set the agenda and write the laws. They're pushed to extremes by the powerless, ignorant regular people back home in the sticks who persist in voting against their own interests. Yes, Obama can scapegoat and punch down with the best of them. And thus does he follow up his regrets over his failed propaganda with still more failing propaganda. (Jeeze, am I beginning to sound like Trump, or what? Sad!)
And now, since this is CBS, whose CEO last year bragged how totally awesome Donald Trump has been for its profits, Steve Kroft forgets about stuff that might be important to regular people in the sticks. He immediately pivots right to Donald Trump's tweets and the Meryl Streep imbroglio:
Kroft: He said Meryl Street is an overrated Hillary flunky. I mean, what's going on?
Obama: You know, you’re going to have to talk to him. But here’s what I-- here’s what I think. First of all, I think everybody has to acknowledge don’t underestimate the guy, because he’s going to be 45th president of the United States. The one thing I’ve said to him directly, and I would advise my Republican friends in Congress and supporters around the country, is just make sure that, as we go forward certain norms, certain institutional traditions don’t get eroded, because there’s a reason they’re in place.Rather than press Obama to define these norms and traditions (are they the CIA? the American hegemony? the continued comfort of the ruling class?) and since he couldn't get Obama to bite on the moldy Meryl Streep imbroglio cheese, Kroft helpfully normalizes Trump by pointing out at least one thing that both presidents do have in common: their manly love for the elite Institution of Golf.
And since politics is at its capitalistic essence a rich man's sport, he asks Obama if he ever wished he had a Mulligan. (Trigger warning to readers: the following segments are rather severely condensed/translated in the interests of space, time and deconstruction--so please do refer to the original CBS transcript and video, linked above, for the official version of the spurious officiousness.)
Obama: Golf analogy -- well, yeah, Healthcare. gov. It didn't work for awhile, so we lost a little momentum. Management below par... or make that far above par, caught in the bunker, sinking in the decorative pond, and not making the cut.
Kroft: Oh, okay, whatever. Now on to foreign policy. (Here, Kroft plays a 15-month-old clip of himself bullying Obama about why he wasn't starting more wars, which was definitely hurting his image among hungry war profiteers. The whole world views an America in retreat, goddammit! What about war on Syria? The Saudis, the Israelis, the Republicans all view you as weak, weak, weak!)
Kroft: Now it's 2016. Two words: red line. You didn't have to say that.
Obama: Well, yeah --
Kroft: I don't want to make a big deal about it. But red line, red line, red line, red line, red line. You didn't have to say it. But you said red line, red line, red line.Now that he's established that he will always put on a muscular show of bullying elected officials who don't completely grovel before the interests of the military-industrial complex and its Wall Street investors, Kroft gets in a few mild digs over Obama's belated passive-aggressive repudiation of illegal Israeli settlements.
Obama: Yeah, but --
Kroft: Red line, red line, red line, red line, red line.
Obama: I -- but that --
Kroft: Would you take it back?
Obama: Well, I but --
And finally it's time for the frothy dessert portion of the interview that we've all been waiting for:
Kroft: What's it like living in the White House with all those perks?And so ends Obama's Last Interview. As you can see, he is indeed just like the rest of us, wondering where to cram all the furniture when he's forced to move and downsize after a job loss and eviction.
Obama: Michelle pretty much couldn't stand it. Bubbles and all. But she thrived at it.
Kroft: So is the marriage OK? Inquiring prurient minds wanna know.
Obama: As far as I know. Heh, heh, heh.
Kroft: So you gonna do the ivory tower equivalent of puttering around the garden?
Obama: Sleep and puttering.
Kroft: Not going to Wall Street and make a lot of money?
Obama: I'll be investing in different capacities.
Kroft: How will we remember you ten years from now?
Obama: You know, I don't think you know now. Known unknowables and all. But known knowns are our energy future and setting the bar for the notion is that it's possible to provide health care for people. Increments you can believe in.
And you know, you gotta develop a thick skin this job. Not many people know that we even have to buy our own toilet paper in the White House. We pay for everything except the plane and the bodyguards and the walkie-talkies.
And with this whole Russian hacking thing, it is just incredible that some people (a/k/a Trump) actually think that Putin has more credibility that our own Deep State does.
Kroft: So how much White House swag you gonna take with you? You like your new crib?
Obama: It's a nice enough home. It's temporary. You know, it's not crazy big but at least there's enough room for a treadmill and some workout equipment in the basement.
But lest you be too concerned about his future cramped living quarters, his definition of "not crazy big" is 8,200 square feet, eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. He's going to need one extra room just to store all that toilet paper.