Barack Obama, a Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You
A random sampling of what our beloved president has been up to these days
As it becomes more and more apparent that a crime family is running our national affairs out of the White House, I find comfort in the memory of Barack Obama’s time as president.
I applaud his accomplishments in office: slapping down The Great Recession, expanding health insurance (and thus saving innumerable lives), protecting the DREAMERS and other vulnerable populations and advancing science and reason as the basis for public (and foreign) policy.
I am gratified that he brought to the Oval Office his sleek style, grace and integrity. Although the loyal opposition tried mightily to pretend otherwise, there was never a whiff of scandal during the Obama administration.
I miss President Obama. I miss him greatly. I though I’d catch us up on a few things he’s been doing these days.
A Visit to Chicago
On a November day almost a year to the day after when his successor won the presidency, Barack Obama was back in his adopted hometown of Chicago. It was not to address an assembly of next generation leaders, like the prior spring. No, Barack Obama was picked for jury duty.
As the Secret Service cleared the streets and stood guard, Obama shook hands and cracked jokes with his fellow Chi-towners. But surprise: He was dismissed that afternoon. Like former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama was not selected for jury duty.
Obama Joins Prince Harry in Toronto
In Canada last December, there was a reunion between a prince and a president. Barack Obama, with vice presidential couple Joe and Jill Biden in tow, met Prince Harry in Toronto to cheer on the athletes at the Invictus Games.
It was Prince Harry, a military veteran, who founded the Invictus Games, which enables servicemen and women injured in combat to compete in various athletic pursuits. The event is held in a different city each year.
Taking a break from the games on December 27, Prince Harry interviewed President Obama for the BBC. Obama talked about his life post-White House and the issues that are still important to him. It clocks in at 37 minutes, but leave it to Obama to keep it lively. Published by AlphaX News and courtesy of YouTube:
Still the Politician
Since leaving the White House, Barack Obama is still very much a public figure. He unveiled plans for the Obama Presidential Center in the Jackson Park area of Chicago. Both he and Michelle signed lucrative book deals.
Last week, former Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he’s been talking to the former president about getting involved in the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is tasked with helping Democrats win back state legislative seats, many of which were lost in the 2010 election. Unfinished business.
Holder, the chair of the committee, said that Obama “will be a more visible part of that effort.”
“It’s coming, he’s coming,” Holder said. “And he’s ready to roll.”
Confirmation that Obama will remain in the political fray came when Barack and Michelle bought a home in the center of it all: Washington, DC. So far, Obama hasn’t spent a lot of time there.
Travel has been a big part of the former president’s first year out of office: forays to Montreal (meeting with pal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau); New York City (a keynote address for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation); Milan (a speech on climate change and global food innovation); and Tahiti (a family vacation on the French Polynesian atoll Tetiaroa, which was once owned by Marlon Brando).
The eight bedroom DC house–said to cost $8.1 million– is not a bad family nest after long trips. But eldest daughter Malia won’t be spending much time there. The Obamas were witnessed on the Harvard University campus last Aug. 23, moving Malia into her dorm room.
It was an emotional sojourn for Barack the father, who admitted in an interview that he was so emotional that he couldn’t even assemble a small lamp for his eldest. The president:
For those of us who have daughters, it just happens so fast. I was proud that I did not cry in front of her but on the way back, the Secret Service were looking straight ahead pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.
We miss you, Mr. President.