Obama legacy

How Obama Viewed Trump’s Election

New York Times: “In the weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Obama went through multiple emotional stages, according to a new book by his longtime adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes. At times, the departing president took the long view, at other points, he flashed anger. He called Mr. Trump a ‘cartoon’ figure who cared more about his crowd sizes than any particular policy. And he expressed rare self-doubt, wondering whether he had misjudged his own influence on American history.”

“Set to be published next week by Random House, Mr. Rhodes’s memoir, The World as It Is, offers a peek into Mr. Obama’s tightly sealed inner sanctum from the perspective of one of the few people who saw him up close through all eight years of his presidency. Few moments shook Mr. Obama more than the decision by voters to replace him with a candidate who had questioned his very birth.”

Obamas Will Produce Shows for Netflix

Former President Obama formally announced “a multiyear production deal with Netflix in which he and the former first lady, Michelle Obama, will produce television shows and films for the streaming service,” the New York Times reports.

“The deal will give Mr. Obama an international television platform during his post-presidency, allowing him to reach millions of people in the United States and internationally. The couple has created ‘Higher Ground Productions,’ a company to produce content for Netflix, the streaming service announced.”

Variety: “It is unknown how much the Obamas’ Netflix agreement is worth. In March, Penguin Random House signed the couple to a joint book deal that pays them a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs.”

Trump Has Destroyed Obama’s Legacy

Andrew Sullivan: “In one respect, it seems to me, the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erased Barack Obama’s two-term legacy.”

“I don’t want to say or face this. I still want to believe my colleague, Jonathan Chait, whose thesis is that the changes Obama made in his difficult but tenacious eight years in office are too great to reverse. And there are a couple of shifts that do indeed seem to be as permanent as anything is in politics: marriage equality and legal cannabis. But neither, one recalls, was a signature goal of Obama. He began as an alleged opponent of marriage equality, even though, of course, he was bullshitting. He wouldn’t touch the marijuana issue in his entire term and even at one point dismissed it as trivial. As for the rest, in specific policy terms, Trump and the Republican Congress have succeeded in undoing Obama’s work to an extent I barely anticipated.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“The last night he was in the White House, the day before inauguration he called just to say that he enjoyed working with me. And I certainly said the same. He didn’t have to do that. It was very nice.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), quoted by The Hill, saying he keeps in touch with former President Obama.

Making Obama Great Again

Boston Globe: “One American politician is currently dominating the cultural landscape, from social media to late-night television. His poll numbers look great, his Twitter posts are often among the most read in the world, and with every utterance, his impassioned base of supporters reacts with a fervor more typical for celebrities than former civil servants.”

“Meet Barack Obama.”

“The former president left office last January with favorable approval ratings, but historians, former staffers, and political observers now say his societal standing has reached a new echelon — and it’s partly due to his successor.”

Obama’s Favorite Books of 2017

As he did each year when he was president, Barack Obama shared a list of his favorite books of 2017:

Quote of the Day

“As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead. For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what’s best about America.”

— Barack Obama, on Twitter.

Trump Rebrands Obama’s Economic Legacy

“The White House hopes to boost President Trump’s low approval ratings by using the economy as a centerpiece of its political message in 2018, according to three White House officials, even if many of the president’s successes so far are squarely built on the legacy of former President Barack Obama,” Politico reports.

“The trends of declining unemployment, coupled with healthy gains in the stock market, began during Obama’s first term, a welcome uptick following the global economic downturn Obama inherited in 2009.”

Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s Lies

New York Times: “After we published a list of President Trump’s lies this summer, we heard a common response from his supporters. They said, in effect: Yes, but if you made a similar list for previous presidents, it would be just as bad.”

“We’ve set out to make that list… We applied the same conservative standard to Obama and Trump, counting only demonstrably and substantially false statements. The result: Trump is unlike any other modern president. He seems virtually indifferent to reality, often saying whatever helps him make the case he’s trying to make.”

Letters from a Young Obama

Associated Press: “The nine full letters, sent by Obama to his college girlfriend, Alexandra McNear, are being made public to researchers through Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library. The university has had the letters since 2014 but could only make them public now, officials said.”

“Written in the 1980s, the letters give a peek into Obama’s psyche as he sought out the path that would eventually land him in the White House as the United States’ first black president.”

Obama Hits Campaign Trail to Rally Black Voters

President Obama “will hit the campaign trail on Thursday to rally black voters behind candidates for governor in Virginia and New Jersey amid stern warnings that African Americans may not come out in force on an Election Day that is just three weeks away,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Obama’s appearances on behalf of Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Ralph S. Northam, in Richmond and the financier Philip D. Murphy in Newark — two white candidates in predominantly black cities — come as Democrats struggle to inspire African-Americans to vote this year. While Mr. Murphy appears comfortably in the lead in New Jersey, the race in Virginia is close.“