Everyone has been worked up about Michael Lewis’ profile of President Barack Obama in Vanity Fair, so we were excited to see that a preview is now up on the magazine’s website. The October issue hits newsstands this week (nationally September 11). Below are a few highlights from the piece.
Obama on what he lost when he became President:
You can’t wander around. It’s much harder to be surprised. You don’t have those moments of serendipity. You don’t bump into a friend in a restaurant you haven’t seen in years. The loss of anonymity and the loss of surprise is an unnatural state. You adapt to it, but you don’t get used to it — at least I don’t.
On making tough decisions:
Nothing comes to my desk that is perfectly solvable. Otherwise, someone else would have solved it. So you wind up dealing with probabilities. Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work. You have to own that and feel comfortable with the way you made the decision. You can’t be paralyzed by the fact that it might not work out.
What Obama told junior staff members during his first day on the job:
Let’s just stay normal.
[Image – Pete Souza/Official White House Photograph]