As part of President Obama’s farewell tour, Obama sat down with former senior adviser David Axelrod to talk about his time in office and the future. During The Axe Files podcast, which is produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN, Obama said that if given the chance, he thinks he could have won a third term based upon “hope and change,” even in the current political climate:
“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.”
Obama also gave some post-election analysis, saying the Democrats could have done a bit better catering to working class votes, which was the key to Donald Trump’s victory. But he said that even though he is leaving office, he will not be disappearing, as he will continue to weigh in on political matters and help the Democratic party cater to younger members.
On Sunday, Obama also paused his vacation in Hawaii to visit troops at Kaneohe Bay. In his final Christmas visit to troops, President Obama thanked them for their service to the country. He’s done so many times before, but this speech presented a retrospective view of sorts. Along with First Lady Michelle Obama, the president thanked them for their contributions to the country and said this annual visit was one of their favorite activities:
“This is one of our favorite things to do because it’s one of those circumstances where you get a chance to not just say thank you to our incredible men and women in uniform, but oftentimes we also get a chance to see some families…I just want all of you to know that it has been the privilege of my life to serve as your commander in chief. I know Michelle feels the same way when it comes to being able to stand alongside our military families and our veterans.”
Obama then jokingly warned that the troops will continue to see him, for the base is close to his favorite vacation workout spot. Watch the speech below.