In Africa, Obama says he thinks he could win a third term

During a speech to the African Union Tuesday, President Obama joked that he could win a third term if he wanted to.

"It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again," the president said. "I actually think I'm a pretty good president. I think if I ran I could win, but I can't under our constitution, I cannot run again," he said to laughter and applause.

The president isn't always so cavalier about the prospect of another four years in office. At a fundraiser last week, he said, "I will not be on the ballot again, and my wife is super happy about that."

At the speech to the African Union, Mr. Obama was poking fun at leaders in Africa who stay once their term limits have expired, a phenomenon he said "I do not understand."

"I'll be, I'll be honest with you, I'm looking forward to life after being president. I won't have such a big security detail all the time. It means I can go take a walk. I can spend time with my family. I can find other ways to serve. I can visit Africa more often," the president said. "The point is I don't understand why people want to stay so long, especially when they've got a lot of money."

While the line drew little reaction from the front of the hall, where leaders were seated, it got a huge round of applause from many of the spectators in the back.

The president said the African Union should use its authority to help ensure that leaders throughout the continent abide by their term limits.

CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller and CBS News Associate Producer Jillian Hughes contributed to this story.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for