- Former President Barack Obama is staying out of day-to-day politics and the news cycle and instead focusing on the long-term, according to a recent profile of his post-presidency in New York Magazine.
- The former president is focusing on growing his Obama Foundation and making plans for his presidential library and museum with the goal of engaging and supporting young leaders.
- He and former first lady Michelle Obama have also signed deals with Penguin Random House to publish respective memoirs, and with Netflix to create original content.
Former President Barack Obama is coping with life under the Trump administration by avoiding the day-to-day controversies and Twitter outbursts dominating the news cycle and instead focusing on the big picture, according to a New York Magazine profile published Sunday.
Since leaving the Oval Office in January 2017, Obama has remained largely out of the spotlight, especially when it comes to commenting on the current political landscape in the age of President Donald Trump, even though he sometimes expresses concern over the administration’s policies and decisions.
“He has mostly opted out of liberal America’s collective Trump-outrage cycle,” author Gabriel Debenedetti wrote. “Though he reads the Times and other newspapers, he doesn’t follow daily Trump developments on Twitter or watch television news. Still, in conversations with political allies, Obama insists that today’s domestic mess is a blip on the long arc of history and argues that his own work must be focused on progress over time – specifically on empowering a new generation of leaders.”
Obama is channeling in his energy into long-term civic engagement and media projects. His new initiative, the Obama Foundation, seeks to “equip civic innovators, young leaders, and everyday citizens with the skills and tools they need to create change in their communities,” according to its website.
The foundation is based in Chicago, but it seeks to offer a wide variety leadership workshops, fellowships, and public policy programming for young leaders all over the country and the world.
Obama’s presidential museum and library, set to be unveiled sometime in 2021 in Chicago, will also include resources and programs to inspire visitors to become civically active in their communities.
In May, the Obamas also signed a multi-year, multimillion deal with Netflix to produce original content, which could include a variety of different movies and shows. The content is unlikely to have heavy political themes or focus on the Obamas themselves, but will instead take on “telling the stories of individuals who the Obamas believe can guide viewers to be better citizens,” according to the piece.
They will, however, tell their own stories in writing books. Barack and Michelle Obama have each secured $US65 million deals with Penguin Random House, which will publish their memoirs. No release date has been announced for Barack’s memoir, but Michelle’s is set to be published in November 2018.
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