In Iowa today President Obama stated that whether he wins or loses in 2012, he will never run for office again.
Video courtesy of C-SPAN:
Transcript from the White House
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a good choice. (Applause.)
This will be my last political campaign, no matter what. I’ve got nothing else to run for. (Laughter.) But it’s got — and because of that, you start feeling a little nostalgic and you start thinking about some of your first campaigns. I think about all the places I used to travel in Illinois and the first race I ran as a state senator. And Michelle and I had to Xerox or go to Kinko’s and copy our little flyers, and we didn’t have a TV budget back then. (Laughter.) And we rode around in my car and I filled it up with my gas — (laughter) — and I’m the one who got lost if I took a wrong turn. (Laughter.)
And what’s amazing, though, when I think about it was how many people you’d meet from every walk of life all across Illinois in big cities, small towns, upstate, downstate, quads, you name it. And you’d always hear similar stories from people about their parents or their grandparents and the struggles they had gone through, and how they had been able to find a job that paid a living wage and look after their families and their kids had done a little better than they did. And those stories would resonate with me and Michelle because that was our story, that was our lives.
And then when I came to Iowa for the presidential campaign — first stop, Cedar Rapids — (applause) — first stop.
Democrats and supporters of the president are so caught up in his reelection campaign that it may not have hit them yet that this will be the last opportunity they will ever have to vote for Barack Obama. It is interesting that even if there is a Florida 2000 like situation on Election Night, President Obama is already ruling out any talk of a future political comeback.
No matter when he leaves office, Obama will be a very young ex-president. The president will either be 51 or 55 years old when he steps out of the Oval Office for the final time. I suspect that the Obamas will return home to Chicago, where Barack Obama will write books and live a generally quiet life. (Obama’s memoir concerning his presidency will be a must read no matter when it is written.)
The odds are that this is only the beginning of the end for the Obama era, but even if the president wins reelection, this will be the start of a long goodbye. Four years from now, the Democratic Party will have a new nominee. It will be ushering in a new era of leadership, or I suspect the return of old leadership as the presence of Hillary Clinton will loom large over 2016.
A journey that started in 2004 will come to an end on Election Day in 2012. Never will Americans be able to vote for Obama again. The president may win reelection and accomplish much more, but this is the last time that voters will be able to send him back to the White House.
Before the chants of Yes We Can fade into the history books, voters will get one more opportunity to tell their children and grandchildren yes I did vote for Barack Obama.