President Obama told a Bay Area fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee last week that he intends to stay “very active in the public life of this country” after leaving office.
Speaking at the home of former state controller Steve Westly in Atherton, Calif., Obama was greeted early in the brunch reception by a shout of “four more years.”
“Oh, no, definitely not. Not only is there a constitutional provision, but more importantly, Michelle would kill me,” Obama quipped.
“But there’s so much more to do, so many more laws we’d like to pass and administrative actions that need to be taken. But, on the other hand, there was great satisfaction because we could look back on where we were when we came into office and take enormous pride in the way in which not simply this administration, but the country rose up from extraordinarily difficult times.”
The president added later that he’s “not going to be on the ballot again, ever in my life.”
“Our obligations don’t go away just because my name is not on the ballot,” Obama continued. “It is just as important, we have to be just as passionate about making sure that progress is sustained. And what that requires is that we win back the Senate of the United States so that Democrats are able to move forward the agendas that we care about so deeply. It means that we make progress in winning back the House so that California’s own Nancy Pelosi can once again be Speaker of the House. And it means that we make sure that a Democrat replaces me in the White House to carry on the legacy that we’re pushing forward.”
Obama noted that it’s “an interesting political moment” in the campaign cycle.
“And it’s still early in the process. And there’s a tendency, I think, for commentators to hyperventilate, because it’s good entertainment value, and so every twist and turn, and various candidates pop up and then vanish, and all of this is somehow determinative of what’s going to happen,” he said. “And then, three, four months later, nobody remembers what everybody was — what all the fuss was about because we get down to the real business of electing a president.”
Without directly mentioning Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Obama referenced “that disquiet, that concern is expressing itself in the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party.”
“And we have to listen to that, and we have to pay attention to that and be mindful of it. Because when people are scared, then strange things can happen in politics,” he said.
“…If I were having this same conversation in some other states in some other communities, they might disagree with me on just about everything I say, and yet, they love this country just as much as we do… We’ve got outstanding candidates who share our values. And we’ve got opponents on the other side who may not share our prescriptive beliefs, may be wrong on a whole host of issues, but who are fellow Americans, and we have to take into account how we end up winning the elections and ultimately governing.”