President Barack Obama gave his farewell address Tuesday night. But, as he made clear, he really isn’t going anywhere.
The president went to Chicago to deliver his farewell address in front of a cheering crowd of 20,000 or so fans and supporters.
It wasn’t a bad speech, exactly. It’s just … well, do you remember any of it three days later? Even though I watched the speech live, it occurred to me shortly afterward how unmemorable it was, except for a few occasions when the president responded to outbursts from the crowd.
“Four more years! Four more years!” they chanted.
“I can’t do that,” he replied.
“Can’t” being the operative word. You know Obama would have run for a third term if the Constitution allowed it. (The 22nd Amendment limits the president to two terms.) Whether he would have won is very much an open question. He certainly thinks so, telling his pal David Axelrod at CNN last month he could have beaten President-elect Donald Trump in a heads-up fight.
Yet governing didn’t seem to interest Obama very much. The thrill of the campaign and the adulation of the crowd was what fueled him.
That—and certain trappings of power.
For all the talk of Republican “obstructionism” to Obama’s agenda, few of the president’s partisans have much to say about his failure as a politician and his abuse of executive authority.