Many have wondered what President Barack Obama might do after leaving the White House. Will he go on a speaking tour? Publish another book? Assume the de facto role of the much-needed leader of the Democrat Party? Move to California and become a movie star? Retire to a safe space and get some rest like his predecessor George W. Bush?
The last is unlikely, as Obama has already declared he will not be staying out of the fray, even going so far as to suggest he will criticize President-elect Donald Trump if it's "helpful or necessary." From The Hill:
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I'll examine it when it comes,” Obama said.
Bush famously refused to criticize Obama when he took office, but Obama knows, as The Hill reports, that Trump is likely to undo many of the core policy decisions of the Obama administration. At risk of sounding cynical, Obama, less than wanting to protect the country, may be trying to protect his own legacy.
One interesting idea, given the outgoing president's general tendency to view himself a citizen of the world rather than just the United States, has Obama possibly working for the United Nations. His latest essay may lend that theory some credence.
The Lonely Planet, a popular travel guidebook, was the recipient of an exclusive essay by the 44th president on how travel is "hope for the future." From Publisher's Weekly:
“I leave office more convinced than ever before that international cooperation is indispensable,” wrote President Barack Obama, as part of a 900-plus word reflection..."
What's more, the White House reached out the the travel guidebook publisher, not the other way around.
Lonely Planet has edited leaders such as Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama in the past, but this felt different, says editorial director Tom Hall. “I was keen for the president to reflect on his own travels while he was in office,” says Hall. “It was a chance to share a universal message that reflects our core belief that travel is a force for good.”
Whatever Obama's next move is, there's a very good chance it will be on the global stage.