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Obama says idea to run for president requires some ‘megalomania and insanity’

Former President Obama said during an interview that it takes a certain amount of “megalomania and insanity” to run for the White House. 

In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey on her Apple TV+ show “The Oprah Conversation,” the former president discussed his upcoming book “A Promised Land” and reflected on the toll running for the highest office in the U.S. had on his family, his wife and on his personal ego. 

“Time and again, you question in ‘A Promised Land’ your own vanity and ego. And this happened quite a bit actually during the time you were deciding to run for president,” Winfrey said. 

“Once you run for president, win the presidency — it’s the most — it’s the greatest popularity contest in the world, does that fill whatever hole there might have been?” she continued. 

Obama responded that a lot of the questions about his own personal fulfillment and ego in running for public office had “burned off.” What he found, he said, was that he want to know what good he could do. 

“What matters is your own assessment of ‘what good am I doing?’ ” Obama said. 

But, the former president admitted, “to actually imagine yourself running for president requires a certain element of megalomania and insanity.” 

“You have to have something in you that is willing to put yourself through and your family through a crazy process.” 

Since leaving office, Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have maintained a relatively low profile. The two work with the Obama Foundation and When We All Vote, a voting rights nonprofit started to increase registration across the country. 

However, Obama took to the campaign trail recently for President-elect Joe Biden in the lead-up to Election Day. During rally speeches, Obama offered a searing assessment of President Trump, arguing that his administration left his successor with a pandemic playbook, and attacking Trump for caring about his inauguration crowd. 

The full interview with Winfrey debuts Nov. 17. 

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump Joe Biden Michelle Obama Oprah Winfrey

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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