[Barack Obama interview with Liz Taylor]

Senator Barack Obama interviewed by journalist Elizabeth Taylor at the time of the release of his second book, "The Audacity of Hope."

00:04Copy video clip URL Open to the interview set with empty chairs. Cut to Liz Taylor sitting with Barack Obama, then United States Senator from Illinois. The production crew prepares for the interview shoot while Taylor talks with Obama. Taylor references Obama’s new book The Audacity of Hope and mentions her own book American Pharaoh co-written with Adam Cohen. Obama describes American Pharaoh as a great book and that he would have brought his copy to the interview.

00:51Copy video clip URL After fixing Taylor’s mic, the interview begins, but is then interrupted as Obama is offered a choice of bottled water. He appears to choose Evian over Aquafina.

01:04Copy video clip URL Taylor continues introducing her first question. She inquires about the origins of the phrase “the audacity of hope,” which Obama heard in a sermon by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama describes his early relationship with Rev. Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Wright’s sermon, based on a reading of the figure Hannah from First Samuel in the Hebrew bible, inspired a young Obama’s vision of hope.

02:56Copy video clip URL Taylor asks about what prompted Obama to write his second book. He describes it as a reflection on how “we might start a better conversation in our democracy about how to solve problems.” Asked next about historical models for his political writing, Obama states that he loves the opening chapter of John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage because of its perspective inside the political process. Yet, Obama says, he wanted to capture more of the ambiguity and complexity of his life as a politician as a reflection of the broader American people.

06:56Copy video clip URL Taylor highlights a chapter in Obama’s book that centers on his faith, which she describes as unusual for a politician to reveal. “Faith drives so much of our politics,” Obama responds, citing the importance of paying attention to the role of faith in public issues. Drawing on Obama’s references to JFK, Taylor asks about Obama’s relationship to his faith as it coexists with his identity as an elected official.

09:30Copy video clip URL Citing The Drama of the Gifted Child¬†as Al Gore’s answer to the book that changed his life, Taylor asks Obama about a book that changed his life. Obama talks about Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and its impact on his life. He also talks about Gandhi’s Truth by Erik Erikson. Obama then talks about his daughter’s enthrallment with the Harry Potter novel series and admits to have gotten “sucked into it too.”

12:30Copy video clip URL Taylor asks about how Obama makes time for writing and his process. She also asks him about his interests in film. Obama says that he likes epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, Chinatown, and Casablanca.

14:50Copy video clip URL Taylor brings up Studs Terkel, who Obama describes as a good friend. He also describes Terkel’s Working as a powerful book that made an impact on his work as a community organizer by revealing the “sacredness of ordinary people’s lives.”

17:45Copy video clip URL Obama reads a passage from his book The Audacity of Hope. He describes lessons he learned after losing to Bobby Rush in 2001.

21:09Copy video clip URL Taylor asks Obama to ponder the connections between taking risks in politics and the risks of writing a book.

22:37Copy video clip URL The interview concludes. The crew takes a wide shot of Obama on set. Obama remarks on the interview’s efficiency, saying, “I’m very impressed.” Taylor and Obama exchange quips about trying to look natural in front of the camera. Taylor makes a remark about Brian Lamb to which Obama responds he finds Lamb “sort of dry.”

24:14Copy video clip URL Before telling a story about Washington D.C. Obama asks if he’s being recorded. The crew respond that they’re “unplugged” from recording. Obama describes the treatment of congressional pagers and interns as “appalling,” especially considering their young age.

24:47Copy video clip URL Tape cuts to a still-life of an Italian dish with bread and a bottle of wine on a kitchen counter. A view of an empty bar inside a restaurant.

25:46Copy video clip URL Exterior view of La Tasca Tapas Restaurant.

26:25Copy video clip URL Sign for Tuller’s Chophouse & Bar.

 

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