Speed Reads

Hindsight is 20/20

Obama reflects on a past 'mistake' and Democratic priorities in new interview

Former President Barack Obama was interviewed on the podcast Pod Save America, where he talked about a "mistake" in his presidency and called Democrats "buzzkills." 

The mistake Obama was referring to was his response to previous uprisings that took place in Iran back in 2009, CNN reports. He specifically referred to the protests from the Green Movement, which advocated for democracy amid claims of a fraudulent election. Looking back, the former president disapproved of his decision to not "publicly affirm what was going on with the Green Movement," saying the U.S. should always "express some solidarity" when people are fighting for freedom. Instead, because "the activists were being accused of being tools of the West" and he worried he'd "be undermining their street cred in Iran if I supported what they were doing" (and likely didn't want to upend progress on the nuclear deal), he was initially publicly neutral.

Obama also argued that Democrats can be a "buzzkill" and said they could be better at connecting with their voter base, The Guardian reports. 

Obama said Democrats tend to get too offended and most people want "acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us ... can say things the wrong way, make mistakes." As the midterms approach, Obama discussed the importance of being a "little more real and a little more grounded" as a way to counteract outlandish claims by right-wing media.