Obama Has Apparently Run Out of Vacation Days

He'll hold his first post-presidency public event Monday in Chicago
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2017 1:05 PM CDT
Former President Barack Obama leaves the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Sunday, March 5, 2017.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – The thing about vacations is they always have to end—even for former presidents. The New York Times reports that after spending weeks in French Polynesia with the likes of Tom Hanks and Oprah, Barack Obama is reentering public life, starting with an event Monday at the University of Chicago. In his first post-presidency public event, Obama will be onstage with six young people for a "conversation about community organizing and civic engagement," a spokesperson tells the Chicago Tribune. According to Politico, a program for the event states it's part of Obama's "post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders." Obama will then head to Boston to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award May 7. He then plans to give a series of public and private speeches in the US and Europe.

While Obama is still trying to figure out exactly what his post-presidency will look like, there is one thing it likely won't include: direct confrontation with President Trump. Aides tell the Times Obama believes "there is only one president at a time" and that engaging directly with Trump would only give him and his supporters an enemy to rally around. Instead, aides say Obama plans to focus on civil rights, the environment, diplomacy, and civic engagement. That's not necessarily what the former president's supporters were hoping for. "We've got to hear from him," says an activist who raised more than $1 million for Obama's campaigns. "Everything that Trump is doing really requires a response." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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