President Barack Obama made his first formal appearance on Monday at the University of Chicago since leaving office in January.
Following is a transcript of the video:
OBAMA: So, what’s been going on while I’ve been gone?
On the back end, now, of my presidency, now that it’s completed, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about, “What is the most important thing I can do for my next job?” What I’m convinced of is that, although there are all kinds of issues that I care about, and all kinds of issues that I intend to work on, the single most important thing I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.
Because the one thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is that yes, we confront a whole range of challenges from economic inequality and lack of opportunity to a criminal justice system that, too often, is skewed in ways that are unproductive, to climate change, to issues related to violence. All those problems are serious, they’re daunting, but they’re not insoluble.
What is preventing us from tackling them and making more progress really has to do with our politics and our civic life. It has to do with the fact that because of things like political gerrymandering, our parties have moved further
and further apart, and it’s harder and harder to find common ground.
Because of money in politics, special interests dominate the debates in Washington in ways that don’t match up with what the broad majority of Americans feel.
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