90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Listening Back To Our 2006 Interview With Barack Obama

As the President is sworn in for a second term, we’re listening back to our 2006 On Point interview with then young Senator Obama.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in his office on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 19, 2006, in Washington. (AP)

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in his office on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 19, 2006, in Washington. (AP)

A second inauguration today for President Barack Obama.  Older and maybe wiser.  Certainly a little grayer.  We thought it would be fun to listen back today to our first conversation with Barack Obama.

Senator Obama.  October 27, 2006.  He was a younger man.  He had wowed the 2004 Democratic convention.

Had just said the weekend before, for the first time, that he was considering a run for the presidency.  “I don’t want to be coy,” he had said. “I have thought about the possibility.”  And Obama-mania was all over the place.

This hour, On Point, listening back, to the fall of 2006.

-Tom Ashbrook


Barack Obama, then Democratic Senator from Illinois.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Davesix6

    So, Sotomayor had a book signing that took presidence over the swearing in of the Vice President?

    Glad to see she isn’t putting her own self interest above that of the nation as some had predicted.

    • Isaac Bresnick

      Wait, they still bother swearing in the Vice President?

    • Mike_Card

      She attended the State of the Union address.

  • hennorama

    Another first.  First two-term President to be sworn in four times.  Twice on January 20th, and twice on January 21st.

    President Obama has been elected twice as President of the United States, but has now been sworn in four times over a span of 4 years and 1 day.  There was a mixup by Chief Justice John Roberts during President Obama’s first oath of office, so the President was sworn in again the next day.  This time around, the official oath was taken yesterday, as required, since Jan. 20th is officially the first day of a presidential term.  However, as the 20th fell on a Sunday, the public ceremony was scheduled for the today, Jan. 21st.

    (FDR was also sworn in as POTUS four times, but that’s because he was elected four times).

    Congratulations once again, Mr. President!  USA!  USA!  USA!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Moakler/1538075402 Charles Moakler

      I guess if I had been harrassed by the “Birthers” I’d make sure I got sworn in tight also. That Harvard degree is paying off.

      • hennorama

        Incredibly, there was another public oath fumble this time.  Justice Roberts got it right, asking the President to repeat “I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear (pause) that I will faithfully execute (pause)  the Office of President of the United States, (pause) and will to the best of my ability, (pause) preserve, protect and defend (pause) the Constitution of the United States.” 

        However, the President flubbed a bit, choking on the word “States” and only getting out “Sta..,” then shaking his head.  Fortunately, the official swearing in went off flawlessly yesterday.

    • pete18

       Hooray, how much more can you push that unemployment rate and debt up over the next four years, Mr. President, and how many more years in office will it take until your acolytes actually hold YOU responsible for for the tragic results of your presidency?

      • hennorama

        pete18 – you can’t take even one day off? Did you miss Sen. Lamar Alexander’s quoting of Alex Haley? I thought it had a nice bipartisan ring to it.

        “Find the good and praise it.”

        • pete18

           I’ve taken the last four days off. Where else can I vent in the face of all the media hoopla but here?

          • hennorama

            Fair enough. Have at it. Not trying to crimp your style at all, just trying to personally embrace a different spirit for a day. It’s certainly not easy given the current state of affairs, but I’m gonna give it a shot. Thanks for your reply.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a sad sad day.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          The whiny, bitter tears of the pete18s are like sweet, sweet nectar to many people.

          • hennorama

            TF – I understand your views, but gloating is rarely flattering. The shoe will one day be on the other foot. I personally can recall several Inauguration Days when I was quite unhappy about who was repeating the oath, most recently in 2005. Just my $.02.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Moakler/1538075402 Charles Moakler

    When I muse over all the good people that have been shoved aside for Barack Obama it makes me ill.

    • Mike_Card

      Name a couple?

  • obaden

    Can we have one day of peace??

  • 2Gary2

    No one cares about stuff from 2006.  get current.

  • hennorama

    All singers of the National Anthem will now be measured against Beyonce’s performance today.  She’s one tough act to follow.

  • Duras


    • hennorama

      Quoting then-Senator Obama from the interview:  “There are a set of common values and ideals that Americans share.  The country is not as polarized as our politics would suggest.”  How idealistic and uncontroversial is that?

      This may be what’s really behind why Obama For America is now morphing into Organizing For Action.  We’ll see.

  • Chelsea Sargent

    Thank you so much for airing this. It brought me back to that feeling of excited hopefulness that I felt so strongly during that year as Obama was elected and then the great changes that started taking place that first summer before we entered into this stick in the mud place where we are right now.

Aug 1, 2014
A close up of newspaper front pages focusing on the Ebola outbreak, including a newspaper, left, reading 'Burn all bodies' in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa. (AP)

Israel-Gaza conflict heats up. The House votes to sue Obama. Ebola spreads in Africa. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 1, 2014
In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 file photo, Luis Mendez, 23, left, and Maurice Mike, 23, wait in line at a job fair held by the Miami Marlins, at Marlins Park in Miami. Increasingly, potential employers are turning to digital content as a way to judge job-seekers before they even apply. (AP)

They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Employers move to digital assessment in hiring, firing and promotion. We’ll check in.

Jul 31, 2014
A comical sign suggest the modern workplace is anything but collegial . (KW Reinsch / Flickr)

When the boss is a bad apple. How some pretty dark traits can push some to the top.

Jul 31, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

The US and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
What Happened To Rodrigo Y Gabriela?
Friday, Aug 1, 2014

In which yet another studio connectivity issue beyond anyone’s immediate control foils a lively music interview with a great band. Good news: they’ll be back.

More »
Criticism, Conservatism And Dinesh D’Souza
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

Best-selling conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and On Point host Tom Ashbrook disagree about what makes America great…or do they?

More »
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

More »