As election season ramps up to a fever pitch, President Obama has taken to campaigning for Hillary Clinton like a (not-so-lame) duck takes to water. To hear his speeches at campaign rallies is to witness a man taking his longtime political detractors to task as he basks in his soaring popularity with Americans. But as Obama now looks to preserving his legacy, perhaps the issue weighing most urgently on his mind is who his successor will be.
In a Halloween interview on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Obama pitched his message to young Americans: go out and vote.
"This is probably the most important election of our lifetimes," Obama said. "The choices could not be clearer. And if we want to build on progress on issues like climate change, gender equality and making sure that everybody has healthcare and making sure that young people have a good education and can afford college, they've got to make sure their voices are heard."
The president pointed to his daughter, Malia, who just voted for the first time. "The pride that she took in casting her ballot is a pride that I think a lot of young people feel. But you've got to talk to them about the things they care about," Obama said.
Bee then asked Obama to convince her to go out and vote as if she as a millennial like Malia. He couldn't help but crack up at her impression.
But perhaps the most acute observation Obama made in the interview was his response when Bee asked him about what the female equivalent would be to the conspiracy theories about the first African American president not being born in this country. Obama listed criticisms already lobbied at Clinton during this election: tired, moody, emotional.
"When men are ambitious, it's just taken for granted: 'Well, of course they should be ambitious.' When women are ambitious— 'Why?'" Obama said. "That theme I think will continue throughout her presidency and it's contributed to this notion that somehow she is hiding something."