From Robert Gehl: Barack Obama’s a young man.
You didn’t think he’d just skulk off to a straw hut on a beach in Hawaii and mull over how to turn his disastrous eight years in the helm into a mediocre book, did you?
No … the man’s got plans.
He’s a “community organizer” at heart, remember?
So despite his abysmal record of running a country horizontally through a recession ditch, tossing a Molotov cocktail into the Middle East and single-handedly losing more legislative seats for his party under his tenure than any president since Herbert Hoover, Obama’s got more to do. He’s going to create “that next generation of leadership: organizers, journalists, politicians.”
In an interview for the barely listenable CNN podcast “The Axe Files” with his former advisor David Axelrod (you know, the one where he said he could beat Donald Trump if only he could run again), Obama said he’s going to be involved in politics, weighing on important political debates and being involved in the national discussion.
This is a dramatic shift from previous presidents. It’s tradition for former presidents to lay low during their successor’s administration – especially during the first few years. Recall how little we saw George W. Bush on the stump attacking or criticizing Barack Obama’s administration for most of his term. It’s just not done. Call it Presidential Decorum.
But Obama knows none of that. It’s the rabble-rousing “community organizer” in him.
Following a period of introspection after he departs the White House, Obama said he would feel a responsibility as a citizen to voice his opinions on major issues gripping the country during Trump’s administration though he would not necessarily weigh in on day-to-day activities.
“At a certain point, you make room for new voices and fresh legs,” Obama said.
“That doesn’t mean that if a year from now, or a year-and-a-half from now, or two years from now, there is an issue of such moment, such import, that isn’t just a debate about a particular tax bill or, you know, a particular policy, but goes to some foundational issues about our democracy that I might not weigh in,” Obama went on. “You know, I’m still a citizen and that carries with it duties and obligations.”
He said he’ll be “quiet” for a while at least – to write that book and make a couple bucks. But eventually, he’ll weigh in with his comments and criticisms of the Trump Administration.
Because after eight long years with this man, I’m sure the American people are anxious to hear even more from him.
Maybe he can tell us how to cozy up to Iran even more, drag the country through the longest recession in American history or ignite foreign policy fires wherever he goes.
You know, good, solid advice.