June 20th, 2012
10:27 AM ET
6 years ago

Video: Obama biographer analyzes the president

(CNN) – David Maraniss, who wrote the recently published Barack Obama biography, "Barack Obama: The Story," on Wednesday characterized the president's life as "an effort to avoid traps."

"He had the trap of being born on an island further than any land mass in the world. He had the trap of being bi-racial, trying to figure himself out, the trap of a dysfunctional family," Maraniss said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien." "And when people look at him today, you know he's often seen as too cautious, and I think there's a reason for that."

Maraniss, the current associate editor of the Washington Post, said the book, which chronicles Obama's young life, provides insight into why "he acts the way he does."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. RealityBites

    David Maraniss is clearly caught in Obama's latest trap..., Progressive Liberalism.

    June 20, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Yes, he is too cautious because he does not want erroneous decisions of Wars like GWBush, nasty rooms like Clinton scandal, No-fore-vision decision of trickle-down like Reagan, he has ratiodecindi to talk with......he knows the poverty, so standing for American-Middle-Class....

    June 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Ted van Tol

    And even before he became President there was the trap of a ruinend economy by GWB that coused a world disaster for the next 10 years..
    There was the trap of two unfunded wars and last but not least the trap of a failing senate and congres.
    And he is stil alive! So if there is one President who deserves a second term if's Barack Obama. And history wil tell.

    June 20, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Ratio decidendi for Obama12.

    June 20, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Of course the President is cautious. He has to be. The hating domestic terrorists aka GOPeeing Teatards are waiting ot pounce on anything and everything that THIS president even thinks about doing.
    Can you blame him for being cautious when they allow one president to keep the cost of TWO WARS off the books, enabling him to get military and civilians alike killed and maimed for NO REASON, and yet they gripe when President Obama dares to put his feet up on his Oval Office desk?

    June 20, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Critical Thinking

    Caution is a more polite way of saying; he doesn't know what to do. It's time : BO MUST GO!

    June 20, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Babyboomer

    Given the President's life long history of being in difficult positions, I marvel at his ability to rise above all of it and excel under what are some of the MOST difficult circumstances today. A lesser man would have cracked under the pressure. I agree with Ted van Tol, "If there is one President who deserves a second term if's Barack Obama."
    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 20, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    President Obama is a Godsend.
    He is the right president for these turbulent, unstable times.
    History will bear witness to that.....if the Republicans don't re-write the history books that is.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    June 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. donnie

    the president looks at the whole picture befor making a dicission. Thats what we like about him . thats what the military leaders like about him. Unlike milk toast who wants to rush us back into another war. Obama is the best president for this time and place. The world is very tricky right now we need a calm level head like our presidents. Obama 2012 the right choice to move forward

    June 20, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. 2020

    President Obama has a distinct ability to keep cool head, focus on issue, and go get it. That situation room picture told more than this book can ever tell. From that picture, you can almost tell everyone's character in that room. Who is in the issue, who are the distant observer, and who is just doing his/her job. Picture don't lie like words.

    June 20, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. JustAO

    I'd rather have a cautious calculated intelligent president than an average low iq president like Bush who was bad at pronunciating words in his speeches. 'Mission Accomplished' banners to signal that we are starting the war in Irag. What a disgrace he was to our nation and economy? But GOP voters wanted him in office twice to ruin our nation and economy.

    I guess the party of passionate ignorance rests with the GOP who want us so desparately to go back to those Bush years of sabre rattling and trickle down economic theories with no spending or tax increases to speak of ever. Even when expert economist say its the only way to grow us out of a recession.

    June 20, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Dave

    Obama is too cautious? Give me a break – he is an extremist who pretends he is not.

    June 20, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. kevin

    his whole 4 yrs. has been one big lie too the the america people.

    June 20, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @ Gurgyl "erroneous decisions of Wars like GWBush"

    You know that Obama sent military might to Libya, killing people to protect the largest OIL reserve in Africa right?
    (Picking to attack a random despot harboring OIL sound s a lot like Bush actually)
    And broke his promise to close Guantanamo and stop the tribunals?
    And is still flying drones out to bomb some terrorists and some villagers?
    And has not reduced the threats of terrorist attacks against this country as promised?

    How anyone still believes the Peace President myth is beyond me.

    I am part of the growing crowd of angry liberals disappointed in the lies.

    June 20, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Obama is trapped in a socialist closet, or worse. He knows he's one but refuses to admit it to the American people because they wouldn't vote for him.

    June 20, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Yonni

    The right person to lead in this very challenging time in American history

    June 20, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |