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Video: Obama: There are days when ‘one term is enough’

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    >>> back now at 7:46 with more of our exclusive interview with president barack obama . we met in north carolina on monday where the president was visiting a leading manufacturer of energy efficient lighting. and we took a few moments to catch up on the first family and the remarkable recovery of the president's friend congresswoman gabrielle giffords .

    >> to see her now walking and talking and laughing, she's still got some recovery to do, but what an incredible spirit she is and her husband has been there every step of the way. her family has been there every step of the way. the people of arizona have been there every step of the way. so i think she's just going to keep on getting better.

    >> she looks beautiful in the photographs, that's for sure. she looks better than a lot of people thought she would.

    >> looks better in person.

    >> have you spoken to her lately?

    >> the last time i saw her we went down to cape canaveral . we were going to watch astronaut kelly, her husband, go up on the space shuttle . they couldn't launch that day. but i had a chance to spend time with her. as i said, it's almost unimage nabl. it's a genuine miracle.

    >> i've been thinking since the last time we talked about how busy you've been. i've been wondering, in the non-stop intensity of being president of the united states , have you ever thought to yourself that maybe one term was enough?

    >> well, i'm sure there are days where i say that one term is enough. what keeps me going is a belief that the work that we started in 2009 is not yet complete. we still don't have the kind of energy policy that we need to move this country forward. we still have not restructured how our education system works to make sure every kid has a chance at a successful career in the 21st century . and so i'm constantly thinking about the work that is undone despite the fact of being very proud about what we've gotten accomplished over the last 2 1/2 years.

    >> you probably still though had to have a family meeting. did you ask michelle and the kids about this at the table?

    >> michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if i said, you know what, guys, i want to do something different, they would be fine. they're not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president. but they do believe in what we're doing. and i think, you know, michelle , if she didn't think that what we were doing was worthwhile in moving the country forward, i think she would be the first one to say, why don't you go do something else that is a little less stressful.

    >> in the conversation around the dinner table about thorns and roses, as you assess your day, the kids didn't say this was a thorn, the idea of you running for re-election?

    >> no, i think they've gotten accustomed to the fact that their dad is busy a lot, and that there are going to be some pressures on not just me but on the family that are different from a lot of other folks. on the other hand, the girls seem to be thriving. they continue to surprise me with how poised, well mannered, kind they're turning out even in the hot house environment of the white house . so if the family is doing well, if michelle is still putting up with me, then i've got enough energy to keep on doing the work that i'm doing.

TODAY staff
updated 6/14/2011 8:11:30 AM ET 2011-06-14T12:11:30

In his exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry, President Barack Obama admits that there are times when he questions whether he would like to seek re-election after the intensity of his inaugural term.

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“I’m sure there are days where I say that one term is enough,’’ Obama said. “What keeps me going is a belief that the work that we started in 2009 is not yet complete.’’

The president also talked about how his family felt about his upcoming re-election bid after nearly four years of being under a microscope in the White House, saying that if the first lady “didn’t think that what we’re doing is worthwhile in moving the country forward, I think she’d be the first one to say do something else less stressful.”

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Not only have his wife and daughters adjusted to the scrutiny, the girls have surprised their father with their growth.

“The girls seem to be thriving,’’ he said. “They continue to surprise me with how poised, well-mannered [and] kind they are turning out, even in the hothouse environment of the White House.’’

If Obama decided for any reason not to pursue a second term, his family would not be disappointed, he said.

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“Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, ‘You know what guys, I want to do something different,’ they would be fine,’’ he said. “They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president ... If family is doing well and Michelle is still putting up with me, then I’ve got enough energy to keep doing the work that I’m doing.’’

The president also spoke about his most recent visit with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head by crazed gunman Jared Loughner at a community event in Tucson on Jan. 8.

Video: Obama: There are days when ‘one term is enough’ (on this page)

“She’s still got some recovery to do, but what an incredible spirit she is,’’ he said. “It’s a genuine miracle to see where she was a few months ago and where she is now.’’

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