President Obama on '60 Minutes'

OK, I got my blast email from Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wishing everyone a happy Mother’s Day and, by the way, don’t forget to watch President Obama on “60 Minutes." I have to confess I was going to watch anyway.

This was an exceptional interview by Steve Kroft and an exceptional tour de force performance by the president. It is hard for me to imagine that anyone watching would not come away with pride in the president and his decisionmaking style, his strength of character and his leadership as commander in chief. I can’t imagine, either, not having respect and admiration for the commandos, and the intelligence and planning that put them inside that compound.

This president makes tough calls. If this raid had gone bad, my guess is that Barack Obama could come very close to kissing his reelection chances goodbye. If Osama bin Laden had not been captured, if the helicopters were shot down, if the commandos were killed, if the operation turned out to be a failure, it would have all been on the president. So many things could have gone wrong. Think Jimmy Carter after Desert One.   

The overriding impression that I have from watching “60 Minutes” and seeing Barack Obama during the campaign and as president is that we are fortunate to have a leader who is decisive but who takes in all points of view, listens to all sides, is not rash or brash as he weighs his actions, facing crisis after crisis. I have no sense of panic or pressure that would cause outbursts, or petty considerations that would interfere with a reasoned, calm, deliberate style of decisionmaking.

Here is a president who does not shrink from the responsibilities of his office; he welcomes them. Here is a president who decides to engage and make the tough decisions that are politically perilous. He puts taxpayer dollars into the auto companies and saves our leading manufacturing industry and 3 million jobs. Many Americans called him a socialist and tore into him for the “bailout.” (Funny, since it did more to advance American capitalism than practically any decision over the past quarter-century.) He takes on the most difficult issue of the past 50 years — healthcare reform — despite the politics.   

This is not a president who puts his finger up to the political winds of the moment and makes his decision.   

It was surely reassuring to watch “60 Minutes” and to learn more about the decision that was one of the toughest he has had to make. It was even more reassuring to watch a president who is truly capable, smart and strong. My guess is that Americans will be more than happy to keep him in office for four more years.