The White House acknowledged Tuesday that President
Barack Obama's re-election is not a sure thing, dismissing a joke by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about the amount of time one should stay in power, DPA reported.
"The enormous array of challenges that this country faces right now occupy almost all of his time," spokesman Jay Carney said. "But when it comes to the coming election, he's taking absolutely nothing for granted."
Clinton, during a speech earlier, used an anecdote to describe leaders of other countries who stay in office for decades and are unwilling to transfer power. She then joked about how an individual can manage to withstand the burden of governing for so long.
"You know, President Obama and I laugh a lot because we deal with these leaders who - they're there for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. And he and look at each other and say, 'oh my gosh, can you imagine?'" Clinton said during a speech Tuesday.
She then added: "The president said to me the other day, you know, 'I'm going to win re-election and then I'm done.'"
The White House itself has expressed confidence Obama will prevail in 2012, even though his job approval ratings show mixed grades.
"He understands very well that we live in a very competitive political environment, which is why he will, when the time comes, make a case for re-election," Carney said after being asked about Clinton's remarks.