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“CBS Sunday Morning” with Jane Pauley spent a portion of the show lavishing praise on the friendship between former President Barack Obama and the rock musician Bruce Springsteen.
Introduced as “one of our Sunday best,” the segment focused entirely on the pair’s previously highlighted relationship.
“A rock star and former president hitting the road. If it looks like a buddy movie, well, it kind of has become one,” CBS correspondent Anthony Mason reported.
Springsteen originally promoted Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign. Their friendship was later publicized in 2021 when the two announced a podcast on Spotify titled “Renegades: Born in the USA.”
Mason praised this relationship as “interesting,” as they both relate to being “outsiders.”
“One thing that is interesting, people would look at this and go, ‘What’s a guy from Hawaii and a guy from New Jersey, Black guy, White guy, what have they got in common?’ You both see yourselves as outsiders.
“Sure, yeah. It might be the story of all artists and musicians, you start from the outside. When I was young, I felt voiceless, I felt invisible, but I fought to find out where I belonged,” Springsteen answered.
“I joke with Bruce, I don’t understand why a kid from New Jersey thinks he’s an outsider, because now I’m an outsider, you know. You can definitely understand why Barack Obama is the outsider,” Obama joked.
Obama pushed the subject of race further by saying that he and Springsteen worked to help make things more “inclusive.”
“You get a lot of nostalgia sometimes for the ’50s and ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and picket fences, and that was a genuine, shared story, but it left a whole bunch of stuff out,” Obama said.
“And a lot of people are left out,” Mason replied.
“People like me are left out,” Obama said. “I think where Bruce and I sort of overlapped is that sense of it was necessary to revise the story, to make it inclusive.”
The segment also featured a discussion on Springsteen’s Black former band member Clarence Clemons, who played the saxophone until his death in 2011. Although Obama praised Springsteen’s efforts to push a Black talent, he lamented that it likely did not change racial ideas.
“In an ideal world, what Bruce and Clarence portrayed on stage was essentially a reconciliation, right? But most of your audiences were primarily White. And they can love Clarence, when he’s on stage, but if they ran into him in a bar, Suddenly the ‘n’ word comes out, and part of Bruce’s music and part of my politics has been: no, no, you got to surface that stuff,” Obama said.
Obama also offered a comment on current President Joe Biden and the problem of polarization.
“Well, look, I think Joe Biden is pursuing the exact policies that need to be pursued. Has he been able to bridge the polarization that we have seen building up over several decades now? No. And in fairness to him, I wasn’ t able to slow that down as much as I would have liked, and certainly my successor, you know, actively promoted it,” Obama said.