|© Pete Sousa/The White House. President Barack Obama watches the action during a break from playing basketball at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 9, 2009|
Just weeks before the end of his second term, Obama spoke with his former senior advisor, David Axelrod, on Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files.” During the conversation, Obama reflected on his 2004 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, which put the then-state senator and U.S. Senate hopeful on the map. The speech carried a message of “one American community in which we have different stories, but we have shared aspirations, values,” Axelrod recalled.
After Obama’s eight years in the White House, a majority of Americans do believe in an America that’s “tolerant and diverse and open,” the president told Axelrod.
“You know, I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I ― 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.
The president put a lot of that faith in the generation of incoming leaders, 20- and 30-year-olds who capture that “spirit of America” through their words and deeds.
“It manifests itself in communities all across the country. We see it in this younger generation that is smarter, more tolerant, more innovative, more creative, more entrepreneurial, would not even think about, you know, discriminating against somebody, for example, because of their sexual orientation,” Obama said.
Even if it were legal for Obama to seek out a third term in the White House, however, he’s joked that it would bring repercussions.
“Personally, for me, if I were able to run for a third time, Michelle would divorce me,” the president told late night host Jimmy Kimmel in October. “So it’s useful that I don’t have that choice to make.”
Obama ‘Confident’ He Could’ve ‘Mobilized’ Majority of Americans in Third Term
President Barak Obama suggested that if he had run for a third term, he would have been able to rally Americans behind his message of a more tolerant and diverse nation.
During an interview with his former adviser David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files,” Obama referred to a speech by Henry Cabot Lodge, the point of which, Obama says, was “not to bury that ugliness,” that “there’s this thing in this country that is good and unifies us. And ultimately, will win out.”
He went on to tell Axelrod that although he saw that spirit of America show itself in all sorts of ways during his eight years in office, he also saw that “the resistance to that vision of America, which has always been there, was always powerful, mobilized and asserted itself powerfully.”
For the past year and a half, there’s been endless conversation about the shift in America and in the world itself. Although Obama acknowledges that change, he does differ in opinion in one vital point:
“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 — and full of energy and dynamism. And — and the problem is, it doesn’t always manifest itself in politics, right?”
He continues, “You know, I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it. I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.”
Axelrod discusses Obama legacy, 'The Axe Files'
President Obama says a third term would've been possible if he could have run again on his message of hope and change. Axelrod joins "The Lead" to discuss.Source: CNN