More Details from Jodi Kantor’s New Book
CF: You were an undergraduate at Columbia University, as was the president. Do you ever compare notes?
JK: No. His undergraduate time at Columbia remains one of the great mysteries of his biography. Only a handful of people from Columbia remember him, and, those who do, remember him faintly. His time at Columbia seems to have been very monastic. This comes back to something that is a real theme in the book, which is that he’s a fairly solitary figure…. He generally has dinner with his family at 6:30. After dinner, he spends a little bit of time with his family, but then he works. He goes into the Treaty Room, which is his private office at the White House. It’s a real working office. The Oval Office is a little like a stage set. The Treaty Room has a computer and a printer, and it has a TV where he’ll put the basketball game on in the background. He makes a lot of really important presidential decisions there. It’s the opposite of Bill Clinton, who would pick up the phone at one in the morning and call somebody.”