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Taking “some responsibility” for the losses suffered by the Democratic Party during his eight years in the White House, President Obama suggested that his lack of presence on the campaign trail was a decisive factor.

Pinning part of the blame on the “circumstances” he was given back in 2009, including redistricting and the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Obama lamented in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week,” that his “docket was really full here.”

“I couldn’t be both chief organizer of the Democratic Party and function as commander in chief and president of the United States,” Obama told host George Stephanopoulos. As a candidate himself, Obama said he was able to do a better job of “showing up,” but as president, he has “not seen or — or presided over that kind of systematic outreach that I think needs to happen.”

Since Obama took residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Democrats have surrendered control of both the House and the Senate and lost a dozen governorships and about 1,000 state legislature seats. He has campaigned for a number of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who failed to defeat Donald Trump to become Obama’s successor.

The president indicated that the party needs to start thinking about a long-term strategy, which he said is to rebuild from the ground level up.

Looking ahead, Obama said he is interested in helping Democrats out when he returns to being a private citizen on Jan. 20.

“The next phase and this is part of what I’m interested in doing after I get out of the presidency is to make sure that I’m working with that next generation so that they understand you can’t just rely on inspiration,” Obama said. “There’s a little perspiration involved in bringing about change too. That you have to be organized, that you have to vote even when it’s not exciting.”

After working as a community organizer early in his career, Obama said that if there was theme in his post-presidency public career, “it’s that if ordinary people get involved then good things happen.”

“So I want to see the Democratic Party move in that direction,” he said. “And what that means is that we aren’t just micro-targeting to eke out presidential victories; it means that we’re showing up in places where right now we’re not winning a lot.”

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