Barack Obama Explains To Stephen Colbert The Satisfaction Of Being President, What A Third Term Could Have Looked Like

Barack Obama
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

More than four years since his time in the White House, former president Barack Obama says there are aspects of the job he misses.

Obama sat down for another set of interviews for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote his new memoir A Promised Land. The book, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies, takes readers on a deep dive into the president’s rise in politics and his eight years in office.

While 44 maximized his stay in the White House as commander-in-chief, he told Colbert about how he could’ve possibly extended tenure.

“I used to say if I can make an arrangement where I had a stand-in or front-man or front-woman and they had an earpiece in and I was just in my basement in my sweats looking through the stuff and I could sort of deliver the lines while someone was doing all the talking and ceremony, I’d be fine with that because I found the work fascinating,” Obama quipped.

While the hypothetical plan wouldn’t be the most constitutional or legal way to stay in office, Obama explained that it would be one way to achieve the level of satisfaction and excitement he experienced while in charge.

“Even on my worst days, I found puzzling out these big complicated, difficult issues, especially if you were working with some great people, to be especially professionally, really satisfying,” he said.

During the interview, Colbert and Obama discussed the transition of power and the current administration, with both subject and interviewer keeping Donald Trump’s name out of the conversation. The two joked that Obama had learned there was so much he could have not done while in office after witnessing the current president’s work style.

“I think there’s a lot, follow the Constitution,” Obama laughed.

While he expressed some discontent with the current White House administration, Obama shared admiration and excitement for the new generations of change-makers, saying that GenX-ers should “get out of the way.”

“They’re smarter than we were, they’re more sophisticated, they’re kinder, they’re environmentally more conscious,” he said. “They believe in stuff that maybe we gave lip service to but didn’t always want to live out because it required some sacrifice. You see them living out their commitments in really powerful ways.”

See the interview Colbert segment above.

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