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Obama: Presidential behavior is important

Former president Obama gives a speech in Chicago
Former President Obama gives a speech in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Obama is the first guest on a new Netflix original talk show series, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman," launching globally today. The episode was taped last fall:

Why it matters: “One of the things that Michelle figured out, in some ways faster than I did — was part of your ability to lead the country doesn’t have to do with legislation, doesn’t have to do with regulations, it has to do with shaping attitudes, shaping culture, increasing awareness," Obama said, per Politico.

Other highlights:

  • Obama: "The stereotype of former presidents is you’re kind of sitting around your house and waiting for somebody to call — lonely and don’t know what to do."
  • Letterman: "No, that’s me."

Obama turned to "long-term trends that are still a problem":

  • "You still have growing inequality."
  • "The combination of technology and globalization. It means ... categories of jobs that are being eliminated."
  • "The cost of college, the cost of healthcare are still going up, although not as fast, as they were when I came into office.
  • "And so, in that environment, if all the money’s going to a handful of people at the top and they’re investing in all kinds of stuff because they wanna maximize their return, that’s how you start getting bubbles, that’s how you start getting, an overheated financial system."
  • "The challenge that we still have to address is how do we make an economy in this globalized technological environment that’s working for everybody?"