President Obama jabbed at the power structures of Africa on Tuesday by calling for long-entrenched leaders to step down, using off-the-cuff remarks about his own political standing and his stature as the first American president with African roots to try to reshape the continent’s politics.
“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” Mr. Obama told diplomats from across Africa, departing from his prepared text to present himself as a model for giving up power when term limits are reached. “I think if I ran, I could win.”
“There’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving,” he added.
“But the law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president.”
Whether Mr. Obama could actually win another term may provide fodder for political debate at home. He has appeared energized by a string of recent successes, including congressional passage of trade authority, a Supreme Court ruling upholding his health care plan, a nuclear deal with Iran and the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba. Still, he faces deep opposition among many Americans who are critical of his economic and foreign policies.