Forever more years
Just when you thought the two-year light was growing brighter and closer to the end of the long eight-year tunnel; just when you thought our long national nightmare would be over in two more years along, there comes this frightening exclusive from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Eight years is only the beginning":
When they leave on Jan. 20, 2017, Obama will be only 55 and his wife, who turned 51 on Jan. 17, will have just celebrated her 53rd birthday.
Not that I ever doubted it, but the Chicago-based Barack Obama Foundation's revamped website, which went live Friday, makes it clear the Obamas intend to maintain a robust public presence in the decades to come.
The foundation launched the retooled website with a tease as it solicited people to sign up for its email list, a crucial first step to low-dollar fundraising. “Something big is coming and we want you to be a part of it.” (snip)
Obama is very aware the clock is ticking. “And I promise you, I’m not going out the last two years sitting on the sidelines,” he told House Democrats at their Jan. 29 retreat in Philadelphia. (snip)
A foundation representative, who declined to be named, said the site was updated “to provide the necessary digital infrastructure for the foundation as we prepare to grow in the months and years ahead.”
If that pitch to harvest data seems familiar, it is based on models used by the two Obama presidential campaigns, the social media operatives at the Obama White House and the Obama-related Organizing for Action, also based in Chicago.
The foundation’s overhauled website was created by Blue State Digital, whose founder, Joe Rospars, was the main digital strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns. Blue State also works for OFA.
Bravely going to the website so you don't have to, I further read:
Obama's commitment to public service preceded his presidency, and will continue long after he and the First Lady leave the White House. The Foundation will carry forward the Obamas’ efforts to inspire active citizenship, expand economic opportunity, and promote peace and justice throughout the world.
Yeah, well, we all know how his "efforts t inspire active citizenship, expand economic opportunity, and promote peace and justice throughout the world" worked out during his community organizing presidential years. The failed community organizer plans to continue community organizing on a national scale, something he can do with all those e-mail addresses. With those precious e-mail addresses, he'll also be a force in Democratic politics for a long time as a source of cash and influence.
The site asks for an Obama-years artifact contribution for the proposed President Barack Obama (D) Presidential Library, "a story, photo, or other memento from Obama's campaign or presidency," so maybe you could send in a spare food stamps coupon, a bankruptcy notice, a foreclosure letter from the bank, the note from your employer stating "you're fired," or your higher tax bill. A note from an environmental group warning you that a weed on your property will affect climate change if you destroy it or your higher health insurance bill thanks to the Affordable Care Act (sic!) will certainly also be welcomed by Obama's supporters and would be a fine addition to the Obama Legacy Library.
Thus, Obama seems ready to join other former Democratic presidents such as President Bill Clinton and President Jimmy Carter, who still think and act as if they're some sort of president emeritus, always in the limelight, using their foundations to haul in millions and millions of dollars for themselves – and their families, hangers on, and other members of their vast entourages – while tossing out a mere few thousands for the causes their foundations ostensibly support.
Why is it that former Republican presidents do their good work quietly and without fanfare?