President Obama's thoughts after leaving the Trump inauguration

President Barack Obama tells 60 Minutes what he was thinking about as his helicopter departed from President Trump's inauguration.

President Obama reflects on time in office
President Obama reflects on time in office 03:51

Maria Gavrilovic was once the self-described "new girl" at CBS when her bosses assigned her to report on the presidential campaign of a 46-year-old senator named Barack Obama.

It was September 2007, and Gavrilovic was one of only a handful of reporters traveling with the long-shot candidate as he barnstormed the nation in a sprint to win votes and dethrone Hillary Clinton as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Gavrilovic initially thought the role would amount to a few months on the road. Then Mr. Obama notched a victory in Iowa's first in the nation caucus. It propelled him ahead of Clinton and the rest of the Democratic field. 

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Maria Gavrilovic produced Scott Pelley's interview with President Obama for 60 Minutes   Aaron Tomlinson/60 Minutes  

"No one expected that he was going go as far as he did," Gavrilovic said to 60 Minutes Overtime. "I thought I was going be covering the campaign for a couple of months. I went out on the road in September of 2007 and I didn't come back home until November of 2008."

Gavrilovic began working for 60 Minutes shortly after the 2008 election. She has helped produce more than a dozen interviews Mr. Obama has done with 60 Minutes, including the most recent one conducted by correspondent Scott Pelley.

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Scott Pelley interviews President Barack Obama at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C Eric Kerchner/60 Minutes  

Pelley interviewed the former president as he prepares to release his memoir, "A Promised Land."

"Part of the journey I describe is a young man who decides that he wants to be part of that process and ends up being fortunate enough to become the president of the United States," Mr. Obama said to 60 Minutes. "[He] gets nicked, and dinged, and knocked around a little bit, but emerges from the other side still believing in the possibilities of America."

The interview took place at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. where the forty-forth president sat near a painting of the 16th. Both men represented the state of Illinois in Washington, D.C. and Mr. Obama took the presidential oath with his hand on Abraham Lincoln's bible.

"He's a good example of somebody who I think understood deeply the need to be able to see another person's point of view," Mr. Obama said of Mr. Lincoln. 

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President Obama and President Lincoln both represented Illinois in Washington, D.C.  Eric Kerchner/60 Minutes  

As was the case during Lincoln's administration, Mr. Obama believes the country is "deeply divided." He said commonalities are easier to find at the local level where he believes the nation must start to rebuild the social trust needed to make democracy work. 

Mr. Obama has deep connections to local politics. He once worked as a community organizer in Chicago. His ascent to the Oval Office included a stop at the state senate in Illinois and the senate chamber in Washington, D.C.

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President Obama departing from the Trump inauguration. Barack Obama Presidential Library

Eight years after his inauguration, Mr. Obama attended the swearing-in of his successor, President Donald Trump. Moments after the 45th president took the oath, Mr. Obama climbed aboard a helicopter and departed the Capitol. 

It provided the former president with a brief moment to reflect on his two terms in office, again a civilian for the first time since 2009. 

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President Barack Obama showing Scott Pelley the model of his presidential center Eric Kerchner/60 Minutes  

"There was an element of relief just in the sense of, 'Whew, all right. You know, we got through that and we didn't completely screw things up,'" Mr. Obama said to Pelley. "For eight years, you never forget it is your job to keep the American people safe, to make sure that no major disasters strike. That you conduct yourself in a way that is true to the office. So when you're done with that, you do let out a breath and say, 'All right. You know, we did pretty good there. We did okay."

Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes that with volume one of his memoir complete, and the 2020 presidential election over, he plans to dedicate more time to the creation of his presidential center that will be built on Chicago's South Side. 

The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and Sarah Shafer Prediger. It was edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.