Where’s Barack?

where's barack

We all have our favorite presidents. JFK was one of my favorites and when asked I remember where I was the day he was shot. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-f-kennedy-assassinated

I was in my fifth grade classroom at PS 117 in Briarwood, New York City when my mother came to take me home and we proceeded to watch 4 days of television reliving the horror. https://elementaryschools.org/directory/ny/cities/jamaica/ps-117-j-keld-briarwood-school/360010002437/

Fast forward to my next favorite, Bill Clinton, when I was a thirty-something adult and should have taken a more active interest in politics but really didn’t. I liked Clinton for his brains, dashing appearance, musical abilities and the fact that he was on the right side or rather the left side of the political aisle.  And now looking back on it he had the brains to marry Hillary. https://www.clintonlibrary.gov/

My absolute favorite so far, perhaps not counting our current POTUS who I think has great heart and talent, is Barack Obama. Obama raises the bar on class to a level most people could not reach if they planted a beanstalk. And it’s not like they (the GOP) did not try to knock him down to play in the mud with them. https://news.yahoo.com/republicans-strain-dent-biden-without-033049689.html

But he never took the bait. Even when he could have, or should have. However there are no shoulds. His successor tweeted himself off Twitter and got banned from Facebook. So hostility is not the answer. Obama was forever a gentleman. 

“Obama’s low-key demeanor is sometimes strategic. He doesn’t display rage over ISIL beheadings because he believes stoking public fury creates pressure for rash military overreactions. He released an anodyne statement that whitewashed Fidel Castro’s history of repression because he didn’t think a thundering denunciation of a dead dictator would further his goals in Cuba. Even when Republicans have trashed him personally—or threatened to force his government into a catastrophic default on its debt, or refused to even consider his Supreme Court nominee—he has tried to maintain a willing-to-compromise, above-the-fray public posture, in part because he thought it was good politics to highlight GOP intransigence. But even when it’s not strategic, low-key and above-the-fray is how Obama rolls. He’s a measured, professorial, hyper-rational guy. He genuinely believes most people are good at heart and open to factual persuasion. He’s not comfortable fulminating or tweet-ranting or shaking his fists for the cameras. His rhetorical weapons of choice against Democratic critics as well as Republican opponents have been logic, dry sarcasm, and persistent whining.”

So what is this dignified man doing now when he is no longer POTUS  – though in my mind he will always be President? 

Well he is not completely in the shadows – thank goodness!

Perhaps not being POTUS gives him license to speak out a bit more forcefully against his adversaries which is what he did on Anderson Cooper on Monday night, June 7. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/obama-slams-gop-not-holding-071239769.html

“Former President Barack Obama appeared on an Anderson Cooper 360 special on Monday, where he slammed the Republican Party for its unwillingness to push back against former President Donald Trump’s soft stance on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Trump’s remarks following the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, and the election lies that led to the January 6 insurrection.”

“The degree to which we did not see that Republican establishment say, ‘Hold on. Time-out. That’s not acceptable. That’s not who we are.’ But rather be cowed into accepting it,” Obama said, “and then finally culminating in January 6th.”

“Obama went on to call out right-wing media outlets for creating racial fear and resentment, and making money from it.”

“I think that there are certain right-wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a white population that is witnessing a changing America, and seeing demographic changes,”Obama said, “and do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened, and the people are trying to take advantage of them, and we’re seeing it right now.”

And in that same segment Obama called out the dangers of cancel- culture. Go Barack! https://news.yahoo.com/obama-dangers-cancel-culture-130732826.html

In backing up a bit, in 2019 the Obamas officially became residents of Martha’s Vineyard.  https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/12/04/welcome-obamas-marthas-vineyard/

“Former President Barack Obama is now officially a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, after having closed on the Edgartown estate of Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.” 

“The Obamas, long enamored with Martha’s Vineyard, have been speculated about as buyers on the Island for years.”

And closer to home in Los Angeles The Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District has named a new facility after the Obamas which will open this fall 2021 with 100 ninth grade students. The inspiration that both Obamas have proven to be and continue to be in the realm of education, learning, and inclusion is what inspired the naming.

“The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education approved naming the new facility which will house Olympic High School, the new project-based learning pathway and other programs to the “Michelle and Barack Obama Center for Inquiry and Exploration” at a special board meeting on May 30 in Santa Monica, according to the SMMUSD press release.”

“The new Michelle and Barack Obama Center for Inquiry and Exploration is the name of the facility that will house Olympic High School, the new project-based learning pathway, the adult education school, Off Campus Learning Center and the future Capstone program, all under one roof at 721 Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica — the current location of Olympic High School, the press release said.”

Kudos to the SMMUSD for this honor to the Obamas and an innovative learning environment. Stay tuned as we continue to report on Where’s Barack? as news comes up.

Author: Sherri Margolin (Dark Matters)

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