In an address to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during President Obama’s recent visit to his family’s home country, Obama said he thinks he would win another presidential race, if of course he was actually able to run.
The comment came as a criticism to the oligarchical rule set in place in Africa, in which leaders such as President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, as Obama cited, refuse to step down from their positions voluntarily, which can be detrimental to the country.
Obama said, “When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife.”
President Obama addressed the necessity for change and this intolerance for these power and money hungry leaders in that humorous way that only our president knows how.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president…but the law is the law and no person is above the law, not even the president,” Obama chided. He followed up with his positive outlook on life after presidency, including being able to spend more time with his family and visiting Africa with less restrictions.
The address was a strange mixture of pride, acknowledgement of Africa’s progression, but also reprehension, as President Obama tried to weave his family’s beginnings in Kenya into his speech, while also reacting to the glaring issues of the politics there. One issue being the dangers that these leaders who refuse to give up power inflict on the democratic process. Obama stressed that democracy is not just an institution that should be held in name, but in substance as well.
Obama also addressed the horrific tradition of treating women as third class citizens and female genital mutilation, aligning this issue to that of the controversy surrounding the confederate flag in America and the way it serves as a symbol for white power. Obama then expressed that just because something is tradition, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one, and oppressing women is a terrible step on the path to progression.
Obama’s pride for being an American was clear, but his pride for being the first Kenyan-American president shone bright as well, as he credited Africa’s great role in shaping America into the nation that it is. Obama himself is a symbol of progression and equality, and he hopes that symbol will spread throughout Africa as well.
Whether or not he could win another term, we will never know, but it’s sure to be a great conversation starter among politicians upon his return.