Barack Obama just spilled the tea about what his least favorite part of being the President of the United States was during his eight years in office — and the answer might surprise you.
Obama joined Ira Glass for a live conversation on LinkedIn about his new Netflix docuseries Working: What We Do All Day on Thursday, along with director Caroline Suh and three of the subjects featured in the show: Randi Williams, Luke Starcher, and Karthik Lakshmanan.
The series follows modern workers across different industries to find out what gives people purpose, joy, fulfillment and connection to others at work.
Glass asked everyone to think about their current jobs in terms of percentages. What percentage of their job do they enjoy, and what percentage do they just have to grin and bear it?
When he got to Obama, the former president explained what he did and didn’t like about the job.
“This, I think, is a pretty honest assessment — I would say 70% of the time, being president is a hoot. I loved the job,” Obama said.
He attributed some of the best parts of the job to the fact that every day involved doing something different.
“You have a bunch of difficult problems, but you’re not locked into any kind of monotony,” he said. “I’ve had jobs… at Baskin Robbins and waiting tables, painting, working in construction, and all the way through being a lawyer.”
Being the President had very little monotony, Obama said — except when he had to ask people for money to fund his next campaign.
That was part of the other 30% of the job that was his least favorite.
“Look, the 30%? Fundraising to get elected,” Obama said. “Pretty much fundraising in any occupation. Just having to ask people for money in order to get things done… and I still have to do that sometimes for projects.”
Another portion of that less-pleasant 30% of being the president was working with certain members of Congress.
“Dealing with members of Congress, for example, who are not actually trying to solve problems,” Obama said. “Then there were some wonderful members I have worked with, but there were also those who were not about a mission, not about a goal. Weren’t straight with you.”
One of Obama’s goals during his time as president was to try to unify others toward a common goal of improving the country.
“Whether we’re talking about the team meaning America — how can we make this country better? — or whether we’re talking about within the Democratic party or any kind of organization, any human endeavor, part of your job — part of my job as president, part of any leader’s job — is to try to see if we can get everybody on the same page.”
Working: What We Do All Day is now streaming on Netflix.
Main Image: Working: What We Do All Day. President Barack Obama in Working: What We Do All Day. Cr. Ben Solomon/Netflix © 2023
Editor’s note: Corrects misspelling.