Is it possible that President Obama could be considering not running again in 2012?
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, the nation’s first African-American commander in chief suggested he might take a page from the biography of President Lyndon B. Johnson and not seek reelection.
"You know, if – if I feel like I've made the very best decisions for the American people and three years from now I look at it and, you know, my poll numbers are in the tank and because we've gone through these wrenching changes, you know, politically, I'm in a tough spot, I'll – I'll feel all right about myself," Obama told CNN's Ed Henry during an interview in China. "I said to myself very early on, even when I started running for office, I don't want to be making decisions based on getting reelected, because I think the challenges that America faces right now are so significant."
But Obama was careful to leave room for a possible reelection bid, just in case. "Obviously, if I make those decisions, and I think that I'm moving the country on the right direction – economically, in terms of our security interests, our foreign policy – I'd like to think that those policies are continued because they're not going to bear fruit just in four years," he said.
Also during the wide-ranging interview, Obama said he’d take a pass on reading the much ballyhooed new book by former Alaska governor and Republican political movie star Sarah Palin.
When asked by Henry whether he would be one of the hundreds of thousands expected to gobble up the memoir of the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate, he said, "I probably won't, but I don't get a chance to read things other than briefing books very often these days anyway.”
But he declined an opportunity to dismiss her as a non-serious candidate for 2012.
"You know, she obviously has a big constituency in the Republican Party," he said. "You know, there a lot of people who are excited by her."