President Barack Obama has today asserted that he would win a third election as president if the U.S. Constitution did not legally prohibit him from running again.
Speaking about law and order in a democratic society in a speech before the 54-member African Union in Ethiopia, Obama made the statement as he sought to contrast the long-entrenched power structures of many African nations with the requirement of U.S. presidents to relinquish power after a maximum two-term stint in office.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” Obama said in his address, according to the New York Times. “I believe if I ran again, I could win. But I can’t.”
“There’s a lot that I’d like to keep doing to keep America moving,” Obama declared, in what is likely to be his final visit to Africa as president. “But the law is the law and no person is above the law, not even the president.”
“Nobody should be president for life,” the 53-year-old president added. “Your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas. I’m still a pretty young man, but I know that somebody with new energy and new insights will be good for my country. It will be good for yours, too, in some cases.”
Speaking as the first U.S. president to address the African Union and as the first American president with African heritage, Obama sought to directly use his stature to facilitate a shift in African political thinking.
“When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife, as we’ve seen in Burundi,” the New York Times reported the president as saying. “And this is often just a first step down a perilous path. And sometimes you’ll hear leaders say, ‘Well, I’m the only person who can hold the nation together.’ If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation.”
Just 18 months from enforced retirement, Obama’s remarks came as CNN/ORC released a poll Tuesday that puts the president’s approval rating at 49 per cent, with 47 per cent of Americans disapproving of the way he is handling the job – and, as highlighted by the Daily Mail, it is the second month in a row that more Americans have indicated to CNN that they were satisfied with the job that Obama is doing than those who said they were not pleased.
But, despite the positive polling data and his earlier boast, Obama is reportedly looking forward to life after the Oval office.
According to the New York Times, he said: “I’ll be honest with you. I’m looking forward to life after being president. I won’t have such a big security detail all the time. It means I can go take a walk. I can spend time with my family. I can find other ways to serve. I can visit Africa more often.”
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