Sitting down for an interview with NBC’s Today Show, former President Barack Obama said he misses some things about his time in office but is glad to get away from the “hoopla” that comes with the job.
“There’s nothing that compares to the privilege and the honor of serving the American people in the highest office in the land,” Obama told Al Roker, NBC News reports. “There are times when I miss the work. I don’t miss the hoopla though. And we’re finding we can be really productive, contributing citizens in all kinds of other ways.”
The 44th president appeared on the show to promote his new Netflix series, Our Great National Parks, which highlights parks and reminds viewers to preserve them, The Hill reports.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to learn something, not just about how to maintain national parks, but why it’s so important to deal with issues like climate change that threaten the entire planet,” Obama said.
The 60-year-old also expressed hope for the future of the planet.
“I think that the generation of our kids are more mindful of how we haven’t always taken care of the planet,” he said. “And with climate change affecting everything, they are demanding action. Nature is more resilient than we think, if we are intentional about it.”
Obama gave credit to his daughters, Sasha and Malia, saying they are part of a demographic that “demands us being better caretakers.”
During the interview, Roker and Obama joined a group of kids to take part in a nature scavenger hunt.
The former commander-in-chief also discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Putin has always been ruthless against his own people, as well as others,” he said in the exclusive interview with Roker. “He has always been somebody who’s wrapped up in this twisted, distorted sense of grievance and ethnic nationalism. That part of Putin, I think has always been there.”
Transitioning to discussing COVID-19, Obama, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, said he’s glad he took his shots.
“I feel fine,” he said. “I was fortunate that I did not get it until I had been vaccinated, I had been boosted, and I barely had symptoms.”