Obama: 'I Think if I Ran, I Could Win'

But presidents aren't above the law, he tells African leaders
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2015 11:35 AM CDT
President Obama delivers a speech to the African Union Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – The quote about the 2016 election getting the most attention today comes from a guy who can't even run: "I actually think I'm a pretty good president—I think if I ran, I could win—but I can't." President Obama made the joke while addressing the African Union, reports NBC News. His larger point was more serious: He was chiding leaders in Africa who refuse to give up power. Earlier this month, for example, Burundi's president finagled a third term in a move widely seen as a violation of the country's constitution, notes the New York Times. In the US, by contrast, "the law is the law—no one person is above the law, not even the president."

In his speech, Obama also singled out Ethiopia and Kenya, the nations that hosted him, for shortcomings. Ethiopia has "much to be proud of," he said, but "it will not fully unleash the potential of its people if journalists are restricted or legitimate opposition groups can't participate in the process." Kenya similarly has made "remarkable gains," but they're "jeopardized by restrictions on civil society," said Obama. "Democracy is not just formal elections." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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