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Barack Obama admits thinking like a Republican on some days, at least about leaving after one term

Michelle Obama in Beverly Hills 6-13-11

Some surprisingly good news for the assembling posse of Republicans angling for the White House:

Barack Obama says he's good with their idea of him serving only one term.

The Democrat admitted to NBC's Ann Curry that some times are more difficult than others in the Oval Office."There are days where I say that one term is enough," the aging president said in an interview broadcast the morning after the first GOP debate in New Hampshire.

Obama added:

Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, 'You know, guys, I want to do something different,' they'd be fine. They're not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.

Neither, it seems, is the growing field of Republican challengers and millions of Americans expressing increased disapproval of Obama's job performance. According to Gallup, this president's average approval in 2011 so far is 46%, down from last year's 47.3%.

In the week ending June 12, Obama's job approval was 46%, down from 50% the previous week, while his disapproval was 44%, up from 42%.Obama debarks Air Force One from Puerto Rico 6-14-11

Dissatisfaction with his job on the economy seems especially high with nearly two-out-of-three disapproving. It must have something to do with gas prices being up 104% since he became president, the national debt growing by 35% to $14.3 trillion and unemployment jumping from 7.3% on his Inauguration Day to 9.1% lately.

Coincidentally, in the same time period Obama's approval has tumbled from 69%.

However, Obama's one-term thinking is just TV talk. While seven debating Republicans were trying to finish a complete sentence or two between John King's interruptions on CNN Monday evening, Obama was doing three fundraisers in Miami , with another offshore Tuesday in Puerto Rico.

At the same time Michelle Obama seems pretty invested in her husband's reelection, doing a string of her own political money harvests on the West Coast.

Obama, who turns a half-century old this summer, added in his NBC interview that what keeps him going on tough days is thinking of all the many things he still wants to do on education and energy. And, no doubt, the fact that there's still a few hundred billion dollars he has yet to spend.

The president has shared some other notable ruminations. At one of those Florida funders, Obama made yet another of his promises. He vowed that 2012 will be the last time Americans see his name on a ballot.

And he claimed: "Frankly, Michelle would have been happy if I had just kept on teaching and writing books."

In recent days, Obama was also forced to step into the distracting mess surrounding the married New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has admitted talking and texting dirty with a half dozen women around the country and generously sharing cellphone photographs of himself snapped in unusual places.

Curry asked the president about that fellow Democrat. And Obama said if he was in Weiner's towel, he would resign.


Sarah Palin's letter from God

A bunch of GOP guys gather to criticize Obama

Forget the Republicans for now, Obama's big 2012 opponent is The Economy

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters (Obama in Beverly Hills); Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press (Obama returns from Puerto Rico fundraiser, June 14).

Comments () | Archives (6)

The comments to this entry are closed.

So what constitutes an unusual place? When was part of teh human body unusual?

Could you at least pretend to not be completely biased? Nothing about this commentary was thought-provoking, innovative, or - frankly - interesting. If you wrote a political commentary about how rising gas prices are in any way the President's fault, or a comparative analysis on different presidents' approval ratings at this point in their presidency, you might be able to share something useful with the world of politics, instead of twisiting facts to give your point of view some credibility.

You could have saved me 3 minutes by just writing "Me no like Obama." Nothing here worth reading.

Give Mr. Obama a "C"; unless he accomplishes a lot by 2012, history won't record his presidency as superior. The Administration spent billions with no improvement that matters. Obama isn't succeeding in the most important area--employment. Plenty of jobs in all fields with decent pay and benefits, so the companies can't fill all positions and compete for employees. THE thing for Americans, then we don't worry about the rest of it. If Obama plans to leave after one term, he should announce his decision without vacillating, so Democrats can promote other candidates while there's time to campaign. Will he wait a year from now to choose not to run, throwing the election to the Republicans? He lacks resolve, and seems not to appreciate the seriousness of the office. If he's tired of the job he should let us know now. If he needs something to keep him going, he's served too long. Never less than 100% self-motivated enthusiasm, and passion for the work.

The bias surprises people? Really? I guess in their attentive reading, they completely missed the header: "Political Commentary."

I couldn't agree more with the president... wait, this is the first time I agree with the president since he was elected.

So if you're not motivated to have the job, why in the HECK would a single American even think about voting for someone whose heart wasn't in it.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
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