Barack Obama’s self-imposed silence since Inauguration Day is finally coming to an end. The former president will hold a series of events over the next four weeks. The move is guaranteed to enrage the thin-skinned Donald Trump as Obama will surely take the media spotlight away from the attention-craving president.
Obama will make his first public appearance Monday at a town hall-style meeting with students at the University of Chicago. The event will be followed by an awards ceremony in Boston; a series of public speeches in the United States and Europe; and an appearance at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the New York Times reported.
The Chicago event, open to the public but with limited tickets, will bring together younger leaders and students “for a conversation on community organizing and civic engagement.”
Obama represented the neighborhood the campus is in while in the Illinois state senate, and was a law professor there. He last stopped by the campus in 2016, using an event at the law school to make a push for his failed attempt to appoint Antonin Scalia’s replacement to the Supreme Court.
“This event is part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world,” the event program states.
The focus on younger leaders will be a significant part of his post-presidency, much of which is still being formulated. According to people familiar, he’ll talk about how people like those who are part of the event inspired him to get into politics in the first place, back when he was a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.
Even as he witnesses President Trump’s relentless and chaotic assault on his legacy, Mr. Obama has remained committed to the idea that there is only one president at a time. But that may change in the following weeks.
Mr. Obama’s supporters have been waiting eagerly for the former president to respond to his successor’s accusations and policy reversals.
“We’ve got to hear from him,” said Sarah Kovner, a New York City Democratic activist who raised more than $1 million for Mr. Obama’s campaigns. “Democrats are desperate.”
“Everything that Trump is doing really requires a response,” Ms. Kovner added.
But Obama’s aides have rejected the idea that Mr. Obama should actively wage a public feud with Mr. Trump, with whom he has not spoken since the inauguration. They believe that such a fight would give the current president the high-profile political foil he wants to further energize his conservative supporters, but added that the president will focus on helping Democrats retake control of Congress in 2018.