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Tags: political exile | new york magazine | bush 43 | post presidency

NY Mag: Obama's Self-Exile From Politics Modeled After Bush 43

NY Mag: Obama's Self-Exile From Politics Modeled After Bush 43
Former President Barack Obama (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 25 June 2018 01:48 PM EDT

Amid incessant clamoring from Democrats to be more active and vocal, former president Barack Obama's self-imposed exile from public politics is an adherence to his long-term goals, friends and former aides tell New York magazine.

Chief among them is a goal mirrored after President George W. Bush: Respect the current president and leave him alone, much as Bush 43 did for him.

Obama "could pick a fight with Donald Trump every day, and (a) the only winner would be Donald Trump, and (b) we would kind of get into this back-and-forth the Clintons have gotten themselves into: Is there too much Obama? Not enough Obama?" former presidential campaign manager Jim Messina told NY Mag.

Instead, Obama is focused on the long arc of history; he does not get sucked into the latest tweet about him by Trump, does not talk about him privately, and considers him a blip on that arc. Further, he refuses to be the frontman for the Democratic party, weighing in on the politics of the day or who should be the Democratic candidate in 2020, e.g.

"He's recognizing that the party and our country will benefit from other voices having an opportunity to weigh in, and that opportunity would be all but completely obscured if he were regularly sharing his opinion on these issues," Josh Earnest, Obama's final press secretary, told NY Mag.

But Obama's self-isolation and silence on such matters drive apoplectic Democrats crazy.

"On the immigration stuff, if he were willing to go way over the line and get arrested, or something way out there, that would be a galvanizing event," one Democratic operative told NY Mag.

Not gonna happen.

"People continue to want, to ask for, his intervention — and even be frustrated when they don't get it," Jennifer Palmieri, Obama's communications director during part of his second term, told NY Mag.

"He can never be what people ultimately want," she told NY Mag. "There's no outcome here where everyone says, 'I miss Barack Obama, but I understand what he's doing, and I understand the choices that he's making."

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Politics
Former president Barack Obama's self-imposed exile from public politics is an adherence to his long-term goals, friends and former aides tell New York Magazine.
political exile, new york magazine, bush 43, post presidency
347
2018-48-25
Monday, 25 June 2018 01:48 PM
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