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Obama to focus on new generation of leaders

US president Barack Obama said one of his missions after leaving office will be to develop a new generation of leaders on issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and expanding health insurance coverage.

In a wide-ranging interview with US National Public Radio, Mr Obama said he wants to ensure that young people working on those issues have "whatever resources, credibility, spotlight, that I can bring to help them rise up".

He said the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority.

The Democratic Party has been hit hard during Mr Obama's presidency. He will leave with the Republicans controlling the White House and Congress.

Mr Obama said Republicans have been systematic in building from the ground up, while Democrats have had a bias toward national and international issues.

"As a consequence I think we've ceded too much territory," Mr Obama said.

The president said he leaves office with some ideas about how to build up the party, but he said he will serve more as an adviser, coach and friend.

"I'm less likely to get involved in all the nuts and bolts of electioneering," Mr Obama said.

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