President Barack Obama, during an interview on CNN’s “The Axe Files” podcast said, he is certain he would have won a third term in the White House, if permitted to run.
“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,” he told David Axelrod, his former chief strategist. “I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country,” he added, “even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.”
Evidently, most people reacted to his vision by voting for Trump who promised to stay away from Hillary’s vision which was essentially the same as Obama’s.
But Obama disagrees. He said: “In the wake of the election and Trump winning, a lot of people have suggested that somehow, “hope and change” really was a fantasy,” Obama said of his 2008 message. “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 streets of Baltimore, Furgeson and Chicago are full of that tolerance. I’m not sure that energy is what the country wants.
Adding insult to Hillary’s defeat, Obama suggested Clinton didn’t work hard enough to win over white, working-class voters who don’t feel they’ve benefitted economically under his eight-year administration. “We’re not there on the ground communicating… that we care about these communities, that we’re bleeding for these communities,” he told Axelrod. “It means caring about local races, state boards or school boards and city councils and state legislative races and not thinking that somehow, just a great set of progressive policies that we present to the New York Times editorial board will win the day.” It also means caring about your constituents for the next eight years.
The problem is campaigning is not a substitute for leadership. If Obama wanted the working class to feel they’re benefitting he should have made policies that would have benefited them these past eight years! Margaret Thatcher’s words ring as true today as when she said them: “Socialism is a great idea until you run out of the other guy’s money”. The American working class was that “other guy”!
As for the future of the Democrats Obama said the Democratic leadership needs to focus on developing young leaders who can organize voters behind progressive policies.
The question is: How badly does America want these policies after suffering with them these past eight years? (Hint- see Margaret Thatcher’s quote above.)
Obama when asked about his plans said: “I have to be quiet for a while. And I don’t mean politically, I mean internally. I have to still myself,” he said. “You have to get back in tune with your center and process what’s happened before you make a bunch of good decisions.”
Sounds like something he should have done these past eight years.
After leaving the White House though he said he wants quiet, Obama still plans to stay in politics. When stepping down at the end of his term, George W. Bush vowed not to undermine the next president with criticism. But Obama, unlike Bush, said he feels a responsibility to influence Trump’s administration.
“At a certain point, you make room for new voices and fresh legs,” Obama said. “That doesn’t mean that if a year from now, or a year-and-a-half from now, or two years from now, there is an issue of such moment, such import, that isn’t just a debate about a particular tax bill or, you know, a particular policy, but goes to some foundational issues about our democracy that I might not weigh in. You know, I’m still a citizen, and that carries with it duties and obligations.”
Perhaps we will be better off with Citizen Obama, though he might follow in the footsteps of Citizen Carter who continues to be outspoken against Israel. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last from him.