Washington Secrets

Obama frets: How do I leave a legacy?

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Politics Digest

President Obama is scrambling for a legacy and fast, revealing in Democratic fundraisers this week that his goal is a record that the next generation will applaud.

At a stop in Atherton, Calif., on Thursday, for example, the president said, "I think the most important thing is that when you don't have another race to run, all you're really thinking about it is how do I leave a legacy, not simply for the next president, but for the next generation that makes America stronger?"

But time is short, he fretted at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. "You end up taking the long view on things. And you also feel a great urgency because you know you don't have a lot of time," said Obama.

The president already has a rich legacy, being the first black to reside in the White House. He also won approval of Obamacare. But he said he wants more: end global warming, broaden gay rights and strengthen the economy.

Presidents typically turn to their legacy in a second term, though they typically don't broadcast their wishes for a lasting impact in public.

Part of the reason he is turning to his own legacy building is because his days campaigning for himself are over and his kids are doing what teens do -- ignoring him.

"Some people have been asking me, 'Well, what's different about the second term?' And I say, 'Well, for one thing, I'm not raising money for myself, and that's good. For another thing, the girls are getting old enough now where they don't want to spend time with us on the weekends.' They have sleepovers and parties and sports, and all that stuff. I don't know if you guys are doing the same thing to your parents, but it's starting to happen," said Obama.

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