— -- President Obama, acknowledging he's taken some political "dings" during his time in the White House, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that the American people will want that "new car smell" when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign, suggesting he may not have a prominent role on the campaign trail as the country prepares to select his replacement.
"I think the American people, you know, they're going to want -- you know, that new car smell. You know, their own -- they want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me," Obama told ABC News Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
During the interview conducted in Las Vegas on Friday, Stephanopoulos asked the president how he would navigate a potential White House bid by his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.
The president, who said he talks regularly with Clinton, called her a friend and seemed prepared for Clinton to differentiate herself politically should she choose to pursue the presidency, which appears likely.
"She's not going to agree with me on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of running for president is you can stake out your own positions," Obama said.
Earlier in the conversation he'd said he thought she'd make a "formidable candidate" and a "great" president.
The president, who said there were "a number" of potential Democratic candidates who would make great presidents, said he would do everything he could to ensure that a member of his own party succeeded him.
"I am very interested in making sure that I've got a Democratic successor," he said. "So I'm going do everything I can, obviously, to make sure that whoever the nominee is is successful."