Obama legacy

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.“

The First White President

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies.”

“The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a ‘piece of ass.’ The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (‘When you’re a star, they let you do it’), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House.”

“Trump truly is something new — the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific — America’s first white president.”