President Barack Obama’s long-term goal when he leaves office will be to marshal in a new generation of progressive leaders.
In an interview with his former senior advisor David Axelrod for CNN’s “The Axe Files” podcast, Obama explained his vision is “to build that next generation of leadership: organizers, journalists, politicians.”
“I see them in America, I see them around the world, 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds who are just full of talent, full of idealism,” Obama said. “And the question is how do we link them up? How do we give them the tools for them to bring about progressive change?”
“And I want to use my presidential center as a mechanism for developing that next generation of talent,” he added.
Obama explained that his “long-term interest” will be to bring progressive leaders together as a force in both politics and civic life.
“I want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to amplify and lift up a next generation of voices not just in politics, but in civic life,” he said. “And I have the connections and I think credibility to — to be able to do that in some unique some ways.”
In the near future, Obama noted, he will act as a guiding force and offer “direction” to the current Democratic Party.
“I think what I can do is not do it myself, but say to those who are still in the game right now look, think about this, think about how you’re organizing that, you know, what are you doing to make sure that young talent is out there in the field being supported,” he said. “You know, how are you making sure that your message is reaching everybody and not just those who have already been converted.”
The outgoing president explained that while he will be stepping out of the public eye for a time, he still plans to speak out on matters of fundamental importance.
“You know, I’m still a citizen and — and that carries with it duties and obligations,” he said.