Barack Obama is returning to public life next week following a lengthy post-presidential vacation. Since turning over the White House to President Donald Trump in January, Obama has been living the high life and hanging out with celebrities like Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks.
On Monday, Obama will make his first public appearance since leaving office, returning to his roots at the University of Chicago for a town-hall style event with students
Over the next four weeks, Obama will give several private paid speeches in the U.S. and Europe, according to the New York Times. The former president is also scheduled to appear with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate.
Trump’s critics shouldn’t expect Obama’s return to public life to be all Trump bashing. Even as Trump dismantles much of his legacy, Obama is apparently still not interested in publicly contesting the president, people close to the former president told the New York Times.
Even as he witnesses President Trump’s relentless and chaotic assault on his legacy, Mr. Obama remains stubbornly committed to the idea that there is only one president at a time. Those closest to him say the former president does not intend to confront Mr. Trump directly on immigration, health care, foreign policy or the environment during any of his events.
“Why are we not hearing from him? We’ve got to hear from him,” said Sarah Kovner, a New York City Democratic activist who raised more than $1 million for Mr. Obama’s campaigns. “Democrats are desperate.”
Still, some Democrats are hoping Obama is just keeping quiet until 2018, when the party will be in desperate need of some election victories.
But wishful thinking could lead to more disappointment for Democrats if Obama follows the example set by former President George W. Bush, who refused to confront Obama at all during his 8 years in the White House.