martes, 27 de diciembre de 2016

Obama: I could have won a third term

President Barack Obama said he believes his 2008 message of hope and change still could have worked in 2016.

The president says the message of hope and change he campaigned on in 2008 still resonates in 2016.

President Barack Obama still believes in the message of “hope and change” he campaigned on in 2008 — so much so that he believes it could have delivered him a third term over Donald Trump had the Constitution allowed him to run again.

“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Obama told his former senior adviser, David Axelrod, on Monday’s “Axe Files” podcast. “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 campaigned vigorously for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state, dispatching himself, Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama across the country on Clinton’s behalf. It would be a “personal insult” to his legacy, he said during the campaign, if the black community didn’t support Clinton. All of his administration’s accomplishments would be reversed under a President Trump, he warned. Progress and hope, he argued, were on the ballot, although his name was not.

But it was all for naught.

Republicans successfully painted Clinton as a corrupt, dishonest politician who was running for Obama’s third term despite, they insisted, putting America’s national security at risk when she set up a private email server as head of the State Department. She belonged in jail, some said. Others accused her of using her family nonprofit as a slush fund and argued that the longtime politician was the quintessential emblem of the status quo, not the change agent she portrayed herself to be.

Trump: 'No way' I would have lost to Obama

By Nolan D. McCaskill

And Trump, who vanquished a crowded field of 16 additional Republicans — including current and former senators and governors — before toppling Clinton, is skeptical that anyone could have bested him, including an incumbent president.

“President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. “He should say that but I say NO WAY! - jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.”

Trump railed against Obama and Clinton’s policies on the campaign trail. He ran on the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare, dubbed Obama and Clinton the founders of the Islamic State and slammed them for having supported free trade policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA.

Clinton prevailed in the popular vote, winning nearly 3 million more ballots across the country than Trump. But it was Trump's improbable campaign that won the requisite number of Electoral College votes to be elected president, and he maintains he could have won the popular vote, too, had that been his aim.

By Obama’s assessment, Clinton performed “wonderfully under really tough circumstances.” But there were problems: Obama accused the media of “wildly” amplifying Clinton’s flaws because of a double standard and said Democrats weren’t on the ground where they needed to be to show people in rural communities that the Democratic Party cares about them, too.

“There’s an emotional connection, and part of what we have to do to rebuild is to be there, and that means organizing, that means caring about state parties, 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 told Axelrod.
Now, with Trump weeks away from being sworn in as the next president, the theme of “hope” that carried the Obamas into the White House in 2008 has emerged as the concept they’re tightly grasping on to as they transition out eight years later.

“See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like,” Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey in her own exit interview broadcast last week.

The first lady cast hope as a “necessary concept” that wasn’t just a nice slogan for votes but something she and her husband believe in.

For his part, Trump told supporters at a thank-you rally in Mobile, Alabama, that they have “tremendous hope” and suggested the first lady “made that statement not meaning it the way it came out.”

It is Trump, after all, who appears to represent the change Americans want today. Eschewing political correctness and largely self-funding his primary campaign, Trump was undeniably a shift from the status quo. Voters hoped he would come to Washington, shake things up and “drain the swamp,” as he said on the trail.

In Monday’s podcast, Obama credited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for Republicans’ obstruction throughout his entire administration, an effort, he argued, that was meant to obscure the hope and change he campaigned on by rejecting his policies outright and creating stagnation.

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