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Obama says idea to run for president requires some 'megalomania and insanity'

Obama says idea to run for president requires some 'megalomania and insanity'
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Former President Obama said during an interview that it takes a certain amount of "megalomania and insanity" to run for the White House. 

In a conversation with Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail WinfreyPrince Harry, Oprah Winfrey to debut special on mental health on Apple TV Oprah interview with Meghan, Prince Harry grew subscriptions for Paramount+ Meghan announces children's book inspired by Prince Harry and Archie MORE on her Apple TV+ show "The Oprah Conversation," the former president discussed his upcoming book "A Promised Land" and reflected on the toll running for the highest office in the U.S. had on his family, his wife and on his personal ego. 

"Time and again, you question in 'A Promised Land' your own vanity and ego. And this happened quite a bit actually during the time you were deciding to run for president," Winfrey said. 

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"Once you run for president, win the presidency — it's the most — it's the greatest popularity contest in the world, does that fill whatever hole there might have been?" she continued. 

Obama responded that a lot of the questions about his own personal fulfillment and ego in running for public office had "burned off." What he found, he said, was that he want to know what good he could do. 

"What matters is your own assessment of 'what good am I doing?' " Obama said. 

But, the former president admitted, "to actually imagine yourself running for president requires a certain element of megalomania and insanity." 

"You have to have something in you that is willing to put yourself through and your family through a crazy process." 

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Since leaving office, Obama and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama on coping with low-grade depression: 'Nobody rides life on a high' Sarah Silverman urges Congress to pass voting bill: 'What kind of politician wants to keep people from voting?' Michelle Obama: 'You wanna hang out with us? Get your vaccine' MORE have maintained a relatively low profile. The two work with the Obama Foundation and When We All Vote, a voting rights nonprofit started to increase registration across the country. 

However, Obama took to the campaign trail recently for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE in the lead-up to Election Day. During rally speeches, Obama offered a searing assessment of President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE, arguing that his administration left his successor with a pandemic playbook, and attacking Trump for caring about his inauguration crowd. 

The full interview with Winfrey debuts Nov. 17.