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29 Jul, 2015 23:31

Say what? Obama confident he would win third term

Say what? Obama confident he would win third term

President Barack Obama’s climbing approval ratings may have gone to his head. During a speech in Ethiopia, he said he could win a third term in the White House, if only the Constitution would let him. But would Obama really win if he were to run again?

Only one president has ever served more than two terms ‒ Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And, with only a 50-percent approval rating, Obama is no FDR.

But that didn’t stop the president from talking about how “there’s a lot that I'd like to do to keep America moving” with that magical third term, a possibility that has been prohibited since the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1951.

"I actually think I'm a pretty good president," Obama said. "I think if I ran I could win. But I can't!”

“The law is the law, and no one person is above the law, not even the president," he added.

The remark was a not-so-subtle jab at African leaders who have a tendency to remain in office after term limits kick in. Like the president of Burundi, who was in the audience.

Obama, like FDR before him, espoused the spread of democracy.

“No country is perfect, but we have to be honest, and strive to expand freedoms, to broaden democracy,” the president said in Ethiopia. “The bottom line is that when citizens cannot exercise their rights, the world has a responsibility to speak out.  And America will, even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable... even when it’s sometimes directed toward our friends.”

Yet, despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, Obama’s presidency hasn’t exactly been focused on the peaceful spread of democracy. 

With military airstrikes across the Middle East, the sometimes-unsuccessful attempts to overthrow regimes in Libya and Syria and unmanned aircraft targeting Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants without approval from the governments where the jihadists are located, Obama has become known as the “drone president.”

When Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. But the facility in Cuba still holds men detained during the War on Terror, and activists complain of human rights violations against the prisoners.

On domestic matters, the president failed in his vow to introduce meaningful immigration reform. Instead, Obama acted unilaterally, signing an executive action that would defer deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. However, 26 states moved to block the president’s order, and court cases are wending their way through the judicial system as judges side with the states.

Obama has also spent much of his second term battling with Congress and the Supreme Court over his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act ‒ better known as Obamacare. 

Although the health care reform bill has twice been upheld by the Supreme Court, Republicans continually vow to repeal it and have filed another lawsuit against Obamacare. In 2014, more than 7.5 million taxpayers paid a total of $1.5 billion in penalties for not purchasing health insurance.

Though his popularity has risen since 2013 ‒ the last time Obama had an approval rating of 50 percent ‒ other politicians have captured the nation’s attention, such as billionaire Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon is leading the polls among the packed field of Republican presidential hopefuls.

There haven’t been any surveys comparing Obama and Trump, but the GOP candidate was more than happy to predict the winner of that race for the White House.

"I think he would fail miserably if he ran again. I would beat him so easily," Trump told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. "Obama would get creamed if he ran again."

He added that he would love to run against the incumbent president.

The commander-in-chief swears he isn’t interested a third term, telling the leaders of Africa he is looking forward to life outside the White House and politics.

“I'll be honest with you ‒ I’m looking forward to life after being president,” Obama said, as the audience laughed. “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.”

Of course, the presidency doesn’t exactly pay a lot, and Obama does want to be rich.

“The point is, I don't understand why people want to stay so long,” he said. “Especially when they’ve got a lot of money.”