Obama's not done with America yet
Anyone who thought Barack Obama’s boast that he would transform America would shrivel after he leaves the Oval Office is wrong. He will not retire to the golf course, as did Dwight Eisenhower to some extent.
He stated Monday night that his “project” will continue after his presidency. He is determined to continue to push for changes across a wide swath of America. His presidency may end, but his agenda and his plans to play a role in promoting these changes won’t.
And those battles are going to depend, in large part, on the continuing effort in the political arena. And we've got to have strong candidates. But more importantly, we've got to have an engaged citizenry. And that's why, despite the fact, as Michelle helpfully reminds me, I don't have another race to run -- (laughter) -- and she’s pretty happy about that -- that's why I'm here this evening. And I know that's why you're here. Because this is not a project that stops after a certain term in office, and it's not a project that stops after an election. This is something that we have to sustain over the long term.
Late last year, I wrote in “Obama’s Grand Plan”:
Many presidents suffer a shock when they leave office. The trappings of fame and power are missed. The spotlight no longer shines on them. Some go gracefully: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and the Bushes come to mind. One has gone shamefully: Richard Nixon. Then we have Bill Clinton who still seeks the spotlight with hopes it reflects onto Hillary and helps her achieve her goal to be the next president. There is Jimmy Carter who is a meddler who has irritated all successor presidents (see “The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity) but is spent as a political force.
Barack Obama intends to smash this paradigm.
A man so addicted to power and so intent to extend his legacy will not retire to a lifetime of golf and well-paying speechifying. He will be a relatively young and healthy ex-president. He has not given up his goal to fundamentally transform America.
How will he stay a political player once he has left office?
His blueprint can be found by reading the column from December.