In an address to the people of Africa from Ethiopia today, President Obama said that he could win if he took another shot at the White House.
But he acknowledged he can’t, as he brought up African leaders who just decide to stay when their terms are through.
Obama said the United States is not “immune from criticism,” but “when we speak out for our principles, at home and abroad, we stay true to our values and we help lift up the lives of people beyond our borders.”
“And we think that’s important. And it’s especially important, I believe, for those of us of African descent, because we’ve known what it feels like to be on the receiving end of injustice. We know what it means to be discriminated against. We know what it means to be jailed. So how can we stand by when it’s happening to somebody else?” he said.
“I have to also say that Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end,” he added to applause.
“Now, let me be honest with you — I do not understand this. I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as president of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again. I can’t run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good president — I think if I ran I could win. But I can’t.”
Obama said “there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law.”
“And no one person is above the law. Not even the president,” he continued. “And 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.”
“…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.”