George Washington, the nation’s first president often referred to as “The Father of Our Country,” couldn’t wait to leave his office and head back to Mount Vernon, his home in Virginia.
Just hours before his assassination, Abraham and Mary Lincoln had talked about his plans to return to Springfield, Illinois and go back to the practice of law, possibly with his oldest son, Robert, as a junior partner.
Harry and Bess Truman packed up their Chrysler and literally drove themselves back to Independence, Missouri to begin their lives as “civilians” – they had no Secret Service protection and only the former president’s Army pension of $111.96 a month, so they were forced to live with Bess’s mother. Truman refused, in his own words, to “commercialize the presidency” by making speeches for money.
But those days are long gone and soon-to-be former President Barack Obama has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of riding off into the sunset when he turns the Oval Office over to Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.
The Obamas have signed a lease on a nine-bedroom home in the posh Washington D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama at a cost of $22,000 per month rent and, if that wasn’t an indication of their intent to remain active in the political world, he has announced his intention to stick around to continue promoting his agenda to “fundamentally transform America,” no matter what Americans voted for in November.
“I promise you that next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you... and we’re going to be busy, involved in the amazing stuff that we’ve been doing all these years before.”
Despite early assurances to his successor – and the nation, that he was committed to a “smooth transition,” it has become increasingly clear that Obama, who at 55 is relatively young to be retiring from what would be considered the apex of his career, is not interested in fading away from public life.
Most presidents have made it a policy to refrain from commenting – or critiquing – the man who take over his job, but Obama has said he will be a critic of his successor, Donald Trump.
But rather than devote his time and energy to a cause like “Habitat for Humanity,” as former President Jimmy Carter has done, or resolutely staying out of the limelight like Bush #41 and #43, Obama has said that he will, “remain committed to defending the ‘progress’ achieved by his administration.”
Obama’s post-presidency plans have changed since the November 8 election when his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the Washington outsider billionaire, Trump, who not only spent far less than the Democrat candidate, but battled 16 Republican opponents in the primaries.
Trump’s promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, cut back on regulations, enforce immigration law and lower taxes resonated with voters in the heartland, and are a threat to what Obama sees as his legacy of accomplishments during his eight years in the White House.
In his final radio address to the nation, Obama ignored the worldwide crises he leaves in his wake, from relations with Russia and China and a Middle East in flames, to a porous southern border and a broken alliance with Israel, and made the dubious claim that, “almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.”... read more