After eight years in the White House, President Obama and his family will soon be preparing to move on. But where will they go, and what will they do?
Most presidents leave Washington once their term ends. Just after their successor is inaugurated, they fly out of town to begin the rest of their lives. But, for the next couple of years at least, the Obamas will be staying in Washington while their youngest daughter, Sasha, finishes secondary school.
Obama has joked about being in the job market after January 20, 2017 — quipping that he would have to “get on LinkedIn and see what comes up.”
In reality, he will probably have a hard time whittling down his options. First up — after a likely rest break — both the president and first lady Michelle Obama will probably start working on their memoirs or on books of some sort about the time they spent in the White House.
Both Obamas are likely to get involved in philanthropic work, possibly in conjunction with the Barack Obama Foundation and Presidential Center. And when he launched the My Brother’s Keeper mentoring project for young men of color, Obama indicated he planned to stay involved after his presidency. But that won’t be all he will do.
“I’ll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people,” Obama told schoolchildren last year. “Help young people get educations, and help people get jobs, and try to bring businesses into neighborhoods that don’t have enough businesses.”
Michelle Obama, who gave up her career as a lawyer and health care executive when she moved to the White House, has said she plans to stay involved in service-focused issues. In a recent editorial, she focused on efforts like the Let Girls Learn initiative, which helps girls around the world stay in school.
“After traveling the world as first lady and meeting so many girls … I carry their hopes and their ambitions with me everywhere I go, and I plan to continue my work on their behalf … for the rest of my life,” the first lady wrote.
As it says on the Barack Obama Foundation website, “Eight years is only the beginning.”