Obama: 'The moment we're in right now, politics is the tail and not the dog'

Obama: 'The moment we're in right now, politics is the tail and not the dog'
© Getty Images

Former President Obama during the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation called for people to think about "our civic culture."

"Our goal here is not to create a political movement," he said.

"Some of you may be aspiring to be politicians, and I believe firmly in politics. But I also believe that the moment we're in right now, politics is the tail and not the dog. What we need to do is think about our civic culture." 

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Obama also called the event an "experiment in us trying to have a collective conversation."

During the event, the former president also joked that he was "born in Kenya," referring to the false "birther" theory that he is not an American citizen.

Obama announced in a video last month he would gather civic leaders from around the world to take part in the inaugural Obama Foundation summit.

At the time, he said the summit would allow young leaders to exchange ideas and learn from one another.