President Obama Calls What His Biggest Mistake?

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Too much substance, not enough style?

That's the gist of what President Barack Obama says his biggest mistake was since getting to the White House nearly three and a half years ago.

Obama says tackling the job as a national policy wonk rather than the inspiring figure he cut in the 2008 campaign has resulted in some hurdles.

President Barack Obama Photo

"When I think about what we've done well and what we haven't done well," the president told CBS in an interview, "the mistake of my first term - the first couple of years - was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right."

"And that's important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during economically tough times," Obama said in an exchange with Charlie Rose.

"It's funny, when I ran, everybody said, 'he can give a good speech but can he do the job?' In my first two years, I think the notion was, 'Well, he's been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where's the story that tells us where he's going?'"

Presidents tend to sidestep questions about their biggest mistake in office, or at least qualify them by trying to cast their flaws in a positive light.

Obama seems to be saying that, to that effect, that he just took the job seriously and did not communicate his views well enough to the people.

Republicans wasted little time mocking the answer. Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller tweeted "I'd go w/ utter economic failure."

Mitt Romney's response: "Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead."

"No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency."

If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

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Barack Obama Biography

Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He became a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004, and has... More »
Honolulu, Hawaii
Full Name
Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama Quotes

I do think in Washington, it's a little bit like American Idol. But everybody is Simon Cowell.

Barack Obama

I think I'm a pretty cool dad.

Barack Obama