Former President Barack Obama envisioned writing, golfing, and vacationing when he left the White House. He's been met with more campaigning instead.
When former United States President Barack Obama handed the most powerful seat in the land to Donald Trump in 2016, perhaps most of America wept just a little bit. There was a collective sense of disappointment in the air during the latter's swearing-in ceremony. The fear was more than palpable. While Obama may have planned to play a little golf and write his highly-awaited memoir following his two-term stint at the White House, Trump definitely had different plans for arguably one of the most consequential men to ever assume the role. "I am so done with all of this," he once told a White House aide right before he exited. Unfortunately, he may not be "done" at all, The New York Times reports.
There is no doubt that Obama was looking to pass the baton off to then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and begin his long overdue vacation. When the results were announced in 2016, his retirement plans crumbled before him. Trump had spent his entire campaign attacking Obama and anything he had ever touched. That, evidently, did not end after the current President entered the White House. "There is no model for my kind of post-Presidency," Obama once told an aide. "I’m clearly renting space inside the guy’s head." Trump's fixation on him, in addition to the political turmoil unfolding in the United States, has pushed him away from his writing desk and back onto the campaign trail.
President Barack Obama: "There is nobody that I trust more to be able to heal this country and get it back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden." pic.twitter.com/XdP1iygGkp— The Hill (@thehill) June 25, 2020
Of course, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, his former vice president, could not be more overjoyed to have him. At first, Obama took a more subtle stance, focusing on throwing critique at Trump's policies rather than his persona. In the recent past, nonetheless, the ex-President has become more aggressive in his strategy. Dan Pfeiffer, a top adviser for over a decade, noted, "He has always been strategic about using his voice; it’s his most valuable commodity." To some, this strategic stance has been viewed as hesitation. To others, however, it was simply a facet of his character—forever keeping his cool and thinking before he jumps.
After all, few White presidents have been asked to re-enter the political minefield following their time at the White House. Monique Judge, news editor of the online magazine The Root, argued in a 2018 article that Obama owed the country nothing. "Obama has now been out of office for three and a half years, and he is still facing this kind of scrutiny," she stated. "No one is pressuring White ex-Presidents like George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter the same way." Nevertheless, perchance Obama's level-headedness is exactly what this country is missing right now.
In conversation with George Floyd's family and Rev. Al Sharpton, he said, "I want you to have hope. I want you to know you are not alone. I want you to know that Michelle and I will do anything you want me to do." "That was the first time, I think, that the Floyd family really experienced solace since he died," Sharpton said of the call. The rest of the nation is simply looking for the same kind of solace. The same kind of hope. This may not be the retirement Obama imagined, but it's time for him to do anything he can to get the megalomaniacal orange out of the White House.