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Barack Obama: I’m ‘Confident’ I Could Have Won a Third Term as President

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President Barack Obama said he’s “confident” that he could’ve won a third term if he would’ve been allowed to run. In an interview with David Axelrod, the president explained:

 “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. 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.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff applaud in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

 

Obama, as he has in other public comments following Clinton’s defeat, insisted that the loss was neither a rebuke of his policies nor does it mean his party left middle America behind. Instead, Democrats failed to communicate how much “we care about these communities.”

“If you think you’re winning, then you have a tendency, just like in sports, maybe to play it safer. And the economy has been improving,” he added in reference to the Clinton campaign. “There is a sense, obviously, that some communities have been left behind from the recovery and people feeling anxious about that. But if she was looking at the campaign and saying ‘OK, I’m winning right now’ — and her economic agenda was in fact very progressive.”

“In the wake of the election and Trump winning, a lot of people have suggested that somehow, it really was a fantasy,” Obama said of his historic 2008 White House run and eventual victory. “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.”

In order for Democrats to avoid being permanently marginalized, Obama made the case that the party must embrace its roots as a party of average Americans.

“We’re not there on the ground communicating not only the dry policy aspects of this, but that we care about these communities, that we’re bleeding for these communities,” he said. “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.”

Obama was barred from running for a third term under a provision of the US constitution. Since the ratification of the 22nd amendment in 1951, presidents have been unable to serve more than two terms in office. Although there had previously been no limit on how many terms one could serve in the presidency, the two terms served by George Washington had served as an unbinding precedent on his successors. However, this precedent was broken by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s decision to run for a third term in 1940. After Roosevelt won that election as well as the succeeding one in 1944, hostility from Republicans towards his actions led to the 22nd amendment’s passage.

 

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