On Jan. 20, after eight years in office, President Barack Obama will step down, yielding power to his successor and saying goodbye to the White House. But what will he do next?
Obama has made clear that, unlike most of his predecessors, he plans to remain in Washington, D.C., after his final term is up — at least until Sasha Obama, his younger daughter, finishes high school. As he told reporters in March, "Transferring someone in the middle of high school? Tough."
Beyond the news that the Obamas plan to move to a home in the D.C. neighborhood Kalorama, there are few concrete details about what the 44th president plans to do when he leaves office. Still, Obama himself has dropped more than a few hints that he will play a crucial role in supporting Democrats as the opposition party under Donald Trump's Republican administration.
In a news conference on Sunday, Politico reported, Obama subtly implied he could take an active role in pushing back against some of the more dangerous parts of Trump's agenda.
"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.
It seems as though Obama plans to have at least a larger role in the political landscape in the coming years than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who, as the Associated Press reported on Sunday, "strictly avoided opining on politics during Obama's eight years."
In the long-term, as Errol Louis wrote for CNN in 2015, Obama could possibly go on to follow the models set by Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and focus his energy on humanitarian efforts, specifically issues of race and equality.
But, as Politico reported, the current political situation for Democrats is "dire, and potentially generational." If Obama wants to ensure that his party and his policies are protected, he'll likely have to stay in the fray during the coming Trump administration.
Obama, at least, seems relatively optimistic, considering the current landscape. As he told a reporter while speaking about the future on Sunday, "I'm not worried about being the last Democratic president — not even for a while."