"I still believe in a politics of hope," President Barack Obama declared on Facebook Wednesday. The message comes just as both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns become more aggressive in their attacks heading into the South Carolina primaries and Nevada caucuses.
Obama's optimistic Facebook post sought to remind his followers of the speech he made exactly nine years ago. When he first announced his candidacy for president on February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, then-Sen. Obama spoke about hope and change regarding America's future and steadfast partisan politics. He reiterated that message this Wednesday, when he again spoke to the Illinois state legislature about ways he plans to continue creating a more balanced, bipartisan political climate.
In the post, Obama added that he chose to announce his candidacy in Springfield not just because of the eight years he served there as an Illinois state senator, but because of the people he met throughout the state. The people of Illinois, he explained, made him believe "there's nothing we can't do" if politicians approached politics with "common sense, a commitment to fairness, and the belief that we're all in this together."
Amid Obama's efforts to revamp his nine-year-old message of hope and change during his last year as president, he also acknowledged that he has yet to see more bipartisan efforts since he took office.
"I'll be the first to admit that the tone of our politics hasn't gotten better over the past nine years. But that's all the more reason to keep trying," Obama wrote.
Restricting money's influence on politics, changing the congressional redistricting process and removing barriers to register and vote were several solutions Obama suggested to cultivate bipartisanship.
The president's message of cooperation arguably differs from that of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has been known for being critical of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Obama has yet to make a statement endorsing a Democratic presidential candidate.