Last night, President Barack Obama made his final appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and he gave the host of 16 years an epic farewell before he steps down from the show in August.
In the lengthy, fascinating interview, Obama touched on many important subjects. But he started the show by covering his and Stewart’s impending retirements and doing all he could to prevent Stewart from leaving the show.
I can’t believe that you’re leaving before me. In fact, I’m issuing a new executive order, that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show. It’s being challenged in the courts.
After that, things became much more serious, and Obama reflected on his time as U.S president and his successes and failures in office.
With just 18 months of his presidency remaining, Obama defended his legacy on a series of issues, explaining that “I do think the work we did early starts bearing fruit later”.
We ask our government to do things that other folk don’t want to do. Because you can’t make money out of it, because it’s not profitable. So we want to make sure that kids get opportunities, and they have to reach the toughest to reach kids – the kids that the private schools generally screen out. We want to make sure we are serving our veterans, including the oldest, poorest veterans. There’s not a lot of money in doing that.
When I came into office, my measure was: can we make things stuff a lot better than it has been. And it is a lot better.
You’re always going to fall short, because if you’re hitting your marks that means you didn’t set them high enough.
Obama also defended the recent deal with Iran over nuclear weapons, his healthcare strategy, close work with veterans, and even took a shot at the U.S news media for good measure – “I think it gets distracted by shiny objects and doesn’t always focus on the big tough choices and decisions that have to be made.”
On his time in office, he said:
Here’s the thing I can say, Jon. I can say this unequivocally: The (Veterans Affairs agency) is better now than when I came into office. Governments works better than when I came into office. The economy, by every metric, is better than when I came into office. And, so, the reason I can sleep at night is I can say to myself, ‘You know what, it’s better’.
And, looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, Obama couldn’t resist taking a shot at his Republican opponents, adding:
I’m sure the Republicans are enjoying Mr Trump’s current dominance of their primary.
To which Stewart replied:
Anything which makes them look less crazy…
Obama’s interview on the Daily Show was his seventh appearance on the program and his third as president, and he may have saved the best for last. It really is worth a watch!