- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 24, 2016

Just as his second term is winding down, President Obama says he really has hit his stride in office.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, the president painted an optimistic picture about the state of the country, saying his team is “operating at peak level.”

“I feel as if I’m a better president than I’ve ever been,” Mr. Obama said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “That the experience has made me sharper, clearer about how to get stuff done.”

He also said the recent terrorist attacks — such as the one Friday in Munich, Germany, in which nine were killed and 27 injured — does not confirm the bleak outlook painted by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Mr. Obama said the American people are “more safe” now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“And so maintaining that perspective I think is absolutely critical,” he said. “And trying to fan fears simply to score political points I think is not in the best interest of the American people.”

Mr. Obama also said he is “more hopeful” today about the state of race relations in the country than he was growing up, pointing to outrage over videos of police shootings.

“So in a lot of ways, I would feel more hopeful,” he said. “Ironically, I think precisely because things have gotten better, what I’ve heard from younger Africans Americans is more shock about these images and the videos from Minnesota or Baton Rouge.”

“And what I’ve had to say to them is that, you know, these issues are not new,” he said. “They’ve been there and come up periodically for quite some time.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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