Tomorrow is a big day for Barack Obama: The Promised Land, the first volume of his eagerly-awaited Presidential memoir, published in 25 languages, is set to land on bookstore shelves all over the world. An interview with Oprah Winfrey will also premiere on Apple TV+ on Tuesday at 9:00 am ET. The episode will be available free through December 1 on Apple TV+, which typically requires viewers of its programs to subscribe to the service.
According to a release, "The Oprah Conversation: President Barack Obama," which was taped on Wednesday in the Obama home in Washington, D.C., “will explore the transformative years leading up to President Obama’s historic presidency, the accomplishments that led him to the White House, and the monumental expectations placed upon him during his pivotal time in office.”
Referring to Obama’s memoir, Winfrey said the book "was worth the wait. Everybody who reads it is going to be on this journey: from the grueling and monotonous grind of the campaign, to taking us inside the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room and the Situation Room and sometimes, even the bedroom."
In a video clip provided to PW, Winfrey prompts Obama to reflect upon the reasons why he – why anyone – would run for the presidency, which Winfrey describes as “the greatest popularity contest in the world.” Obama admits that “seeing your name up in lights, being on television, speaking to large crowds” is a huge ego boost, and that one must be a megalomaniac to some degree to run for the presidency and also to put one's family through such an experience.
After a while, one gets accustomed to such acclaim, he says, “By the time I entered into the Oval Office, I had gotten enough external affirmation. I knew what it was like to speak to hundreds of thousands, and then during the inauguration, two million people. The ego part of it, the vanity part of service, didn't interest me anymore. I was interested in -- what could I get done?”
The clip concludes with Obama reflecting that for anyone ascending to the presidency, “Hopefully, what initially drives you transforms itself into something larger.”
Crown is publishing the book in the U.S. with a three million copy initial print run.