President Obama hasn’t met with uninterrupted support during his swing through Africa, as T. Grimsley pointed out yesterday. His gay-agenda message got some serious pushback from President Kenyatta of Kenya on Saturday.
But an undaunted Obama continues his charm offensive, speaking to the African Union — similar to the Organization of American States — in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday. In a headquarters built for the African Union by China, Obama spoke of encouraging democracy and strengthening economic partnerships with African nations. The partnerships include his Feed the Future initiative, in which small farmers get to grow corn and meet Obama, and his Power for Africa initiative, which, as contributor Rusty Weiss notes, involves a project to supply Africa with electric power using soccer balls.
Obama also lectured the AU membership on the importance of vacating office when you’re supposed to. Obama didn’t actually explain why it’s a good thing to do that, although the Wall Street Journal article pretends that he did.
But he pointed out that he can’t run for another term, even though he’d probably win if he did. It really sounds just a bit like he’s lamenting the fact that he can’t run for a third term, as opposed to making the case for limited terms and adhering to the law. But we report, you decide.
“Now, let me be honest with you,” Obama said. “I do not understand this [i.e., not leaving office when the law says you must]. I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again.”
The crowd cheered appreciatively.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he said. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t. So there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law.”
There you have it. Obama makes the noble sacrifice of honoring the law and not running again — even though he’s got loads he’d still like to do, and frankly, America would be better off if he ran again and won. But he’s not running. His counterparts in Africa should follow his example.
Exit question: What’s Oromo (or Amharic) for “If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution”?