President Obama says the 2016 White House hopefuls should know that the thrill of “the trappings" associated with occupying the Oval Office “wears off pretty quick.”

“At least it has for me,” Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep, according to excerpts released Monday from a recent interview.


“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,” Obama 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 what you want to do to help make this country work even better," he continued.

Obama was responding to a question about what he would ask the 2016 presidential candidates.

Conceding he “might have to give it some thought,” Obama said, “But what I can tell you I ask myself every single day is: How can I be useful in creating an America that is more tolerant, more prosperous, provides greater opportunity, is safer?”

“So I might just ask somebody, why do you want to do this?”

But the president admitted he might not get a satisfactory reply: “And I suppose they’d give you a cliché answer because that’s what candidates do,” Obama said.

“I don’t think this country works best on fear,” Obama added. “I don’t think this country works best on hate. I don’t think this country works best on cynicism.

“If you are aspiring to this job, then you need to ask yourself some very serious questions about why you’re doing it, because that’s what’s going to keep you going on those days that things aren’t going so well.”