The ever humble President Obama suggested in an exit interview with David Axelrod, his former top adviser, that, had he been able to run, he could have rallied many Americans – even those who disagreed with him — and won a third term in the White House.
“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Obama said during the 50-minute interview that aired on CNN on Monday.
He was philosophical and a little mournful about the Democrats’ loss of the presidential election, when Hillary Clinton was defeated by Trump in a shock outcome almost none of the political elite predicted.
“In the wake of the election and Trump winning, a lot of people have suggested that somehow, it really was a fantasy,” Obama said of the hope-and-change vision he heralded in 2008. “What I would argue is, is that the culture actually did shift, that the majority does buy into the notion of a one America that is tolerant and diverse and open and full of energy and dynamism.”
The Lame Duck President also blamed his problems during his presidency on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a longtime adversary who famously said in 2010: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” McConnell failed in that goal, but Obama said his nemesis was successful in blocking many of his initiatives and setting the groundwork for Trump’s victory.
As other top Democrats have done in the wake of President-elect Trump’s victory, Obama did acknowledge that Democrats and progressives face political challenges, especially in rural areas.
Obama, who finishes his second and final term in office in just over 3 weeks, failed to realize that his policies and “3rd term” were up for reelection in 2016 via Hillary Clinton and the American people soundly rejected him.
Obama added he will keep a low profile after he leaves office. He will remain in Washington, D.C. while Sasha, his youngest daughter finishes school. He also said he plans to “be quiet for a while” after he leaves office, “but not politically”.