Obama legacy

Obama Speaks Out Against Trump Climate Decision

Barack Obama put out the follow statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement:

A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children.

It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.

Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.

The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.

Trump’s Guiding Principle Is Undoing Obama’s Agenda

First Read: “President Trump is expected to announce at 3:00 pm ET that he is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement (although perhaps with some exceptions — so maybe it’s not a full pullout)… And with that decision to withdraw, it’s hard not to conclude that the guiding philosophy of Trump’s first four months in office has been to rollback Barack Obama’s agenda — or do what Obama refused to do.”

“Yes, Trump campaigned on many of these positions (although the military action in Syria contradicted what he had said in the past on the issue). And yes, all new presidents who hail from a different political party typically break — in one way or another — from their predecessors. But what’s different about Trump’s breaks with Obama is that he really hasn’t outlined a better way forward… These anti-Obama actions have been mostly symbolic. But what’s been missing is a clear alternative — other than just going back to where things were before 2009.”

Obama Buys Washington, D.C. Home for $8.1 Million

Former President Obama and former first lady Michelle purchased the home in Washington, DC that they have been renting, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, closing on the $8.1 million purchase on Wednesday.

Said a spokesman: “Given that President and Mrs. Obama will be in Washington for at least another two-and-a-half years, it made sense for them to buy a home rather than continuing to rent property.”

On Leaving the White House

Michelle Obama hit the paid-speaking circuit yesterday and spoke about leaving the White House, the Washington Post reports.

“She shared a story about her emotional final day at the White House. Her daughters were in tears as they said goodbye to the staff, and she felt herself choke up, too — but she resolved to keep her emotions hidden before the Inauguration Day cameras.”

Said Obama: “I didn’t want to have tears in my eyes because people would swear I was crying because of the new president.”

How Presidents Handle Frustrating Moments

Former President Obama “made another $400,000 on Thursday when he appeared at the A&E Networks advertising upfront at The Pierre Hotel. He was interviewed over 90 minutes at the Midtown Manhattan event by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in front of the cable network’s advertisers,” the New York Post reports.

“Goodwin asked Obama how, while president, he handled frustrating moments. She mentioned Lincoln would write angry letters and then put them in a desk and not mail them.”

Responded Obama: “For starters, by not having a Twitter account.”

Obama Will Be Paid $400K for Speech

Former President Barack Obama will be paid $400,000 to speak at Cantor Fitzgerald’s healthcare conference this September, the Washington Examiner reports.

Matthew Yglesias: “That’s so much cash, for so little work, that it would be extraordinarily difficult for anyone to turn it down… Indeed, to not take the money might be a problem for someone in Obama’s position. It would set a precedent… Which is exactly why he should have turned down the gig.”

Obama Returns to Public Life Next Week

New York Times: “Barack Obama’s extended post-presidential vacation is about to end. After spending weeks in French Polynesia — including time on the yacht of the movie mogul David Geffen along with Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey — Mr. Obama will return to Chicago on Monday for his first public event as a former president.”

“His self-imposed silence since Inauguration Day will end with a series of events over the next four weeks. A Monday town hall-style meeting with students at the University of Chicago will be followed by an awards ceremony in Boston; a series of public remarks as well as private paid speeches in the United States and Europe; and an appearance at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

How to Mock Trump on Instagram

Politico: “Former White House photographer Pete Souza is a case study in how a former Obama staffer can throw shade at Donald Trump without being too direct. For the past few months, Souza has used his personal Instagram account to post photos from the Obama administration that seem, or he admits are, deliberately timed to a make a point about whatever Trump story has overtaken the news cycle.”

How Obama Is Spending His Post-Presidency

Washington Post: “Both he and the former first lady have entertained friends in their Kalorama home, newly redecorated to suit their modern style; and both frequently go into in their new West End office space. About 15 staffers work there, with the framed flag that the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden presented to the former president displayed in the entryway. One floor of the new office houses aides, including Jarrett, who are helping to build Obama’s foundation, which is headquartered in Chicago.”

“His first major speech as a private citizen will come in May, where he will be awarded a Medal of Courage as part of a celebration of President John F. Kennedy’s centennial.”