Former U.S President, Barack Obama made a definitive call about the world’s leadership yesterday when he spoke at a private event in Singapore: Most global problems stem from old people, mostly men, relentlessly retaining positions of power.
Obama said that during his time in the White House, he’d regularly mused about what a world run by women would look like.
“Now women, I just want you to know; you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us [men].
“I’m absolutely confident that for two years, if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes.”
When queried whether he’d ever make a return to politics, Obama said it was important that leaders knew when to call time on their tenure.
“If you look at the world and look at the problems it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” he said.
“It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self importance or your own power.”
There is no hypocrisy to these words.
Since leaving the White House in 2017 after first being elected in 2009, Barack Obama and wife Michelle have refrained from any direct involvement in politics.
The pair have instead focused their efforts on philanthropy; building a foundation that mentors young leaders from around the world.
These latest comments by Obama fall against the rapidly intensifying backdrop of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary where former vice president, Joe Biden runs against female heavyweight Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
77 year-old Biden has faced heat for months, after he was accused by several women of inappropriate conduct. He’s also been labelled as being out of touch with modern America and especially young voters.
But former Obama White House adviser, Jamie Smith posted on Facebook that these comments weren’t designed to be inflammatory. In fact, Obama had been making similar remarks for years.
“POTUS said this all the time when I worked for him,” she wrote.
“He was endlessly fascinated by the strength of women. We discussed this a lot because I was — at the time — one of (maybe the only?) pregnant person in the West Wing. He marveled at our strength and the magic we bring to the world on every level.”