US President Barack Obama gets up from his desk after signing the budget bill that will fund the government until next September, in the Oval Office at the White House December 18, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Daniel White
December 28, 2015

President Obama has a question he would like to ask his potential successors: “Why do you want to do this?”

In the last segment of an end-of-the-year interview, NPR’s Steve Inskeep asked Obama what he would want to question his potential successors about. Obama responded by taking a broader view of the 2016 race.

“If you’re aspiring to this job then you need to ask yourself some very serious questions about why you’re doing it, because that is what is going to keep you going on those days that things aren’t going so well,” he said. “What sustains me, what lasts, what makes me happy, proud, frustrated sometimes, is the recognition that if you want this job, then you really need to love this country and have a very clear vision and idea of what it is that you want to do to help make this country work even better.”

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Obama also had a warning about those who might run for president for the wrong reasons.

“And I suppose they would give a cliche answer because that’s what candidates do,” said the President. “But I will tell you as president, if you are interested just because you like the title or you like the trappings or you like the power or the fame or the celebrity, that side of it wears off pretty quick. At least it has for me.”

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