The ex-president lays out part of his agenda in Chicago.
Former President Obama suggested he will focus his post-presidency on redistributing wealth, emptying prisons, and sabotaging the economy with carbon-emission controls, during his televised return to the national stage yesterday.
Obama reiterated the politically tone-deaf radical policy priorities of his presidency in a speech at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. (A transcript of Obama’s relatively brief oration is available here.)
In a statement preceding a roundtable discussion with students, Obama said:
The one thing that I'm absolutely convinced of is that yes, we confront a whole range of challenges from economic inequality and lack of opportunity to a criminal justice system that too often is skewed in ways that are unproductive to climate change to, you know, issues related to violence. All those problems are serious. They're daunting. But they're not insolvable.
“What is preventing us from tackling them and making more progress really has to do with our politics and our civic life,” Obama said. “It has to do with the fact that because of things like political gerrymandering our parties have moved further and further apart and it's harder and harder to find common ground. Because of money and politics.”
Of course, in blaming “political gerrymandering” – an irrelevancy – he got to leave out the social polarization and ethno-cultural balkanization he encouraged while president, along with his crusade to inject more and more money into politics while pretending to do the opposite.
So what Obama failed to mention was just as interesting as what he did get around to saying.
He did not say the name of his successor. He did not say anything about his multifaceted taxpayer-funded efforts to kneecap Donald Trump’s administration before it took office.
Obama did not say that he wiretapped candidate Donald Trump while his CIA Director, John O. Brennan, conspired with foreign intelligence agencies to spy on Trump. Obama did not say that he worked with Hillary Clinton to promote the utterly wacky conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with Russia to change the results of the November election.
Obama did not say that he is waging war against the Trump administration through his generously funded agitation outfit, Organizing for Action, to defend his grotesque record of failure and promoting civil unrest.
Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is at the head of Obama’s network of left-wing nonprofit groups. OfA, investigative reporter Paul Sperry warns, has “a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.” Obama is “intimately involved” in OfA’s operations and issues tweets from the group’s account, Sperry writes. “In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump’s upset victory.”
By the end of 2014, OfA, which was formally incorporated only the year before, had taken in $40.4 million, $26 million of which was raised in 2014, according to the organization’s IRS filings. OfA’s big donors are members of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance, a donors’ consortium for left-wing billionaires devoted to radical political change. Among the DA members donating to OfA are: Ryan Smith ($476,260); Marcy Carsey ($250,000); Jon Stryker ($200,000); Paul Boskind ($105,000); Paul Egerman ($100,000); and Nick Hanauer ($50,000).
During his surprisingly low-energy, repurposed stump speech, Obama also did not say that he has rented a $5.3 million, 8,200-square-foot, walled mansion in Washington’s Embassy Row that he is using to command his community organizing cadres. Obama did not say that his White House alter ego, Valerie Jarrett, lives in the house with him. And Obama did not say that with his loyalist Tom Perez’s ascent to the DNC chairmanship in late February, that he (Obama) has consolidated his control over the party apparatus.
No ex-president has ever stuck around the nation’s capital to vex and undermine his successor. Of course, Obama is unlike any president the United States has ever had. Even failed, self-righteous presidents like Jimmy Carter, who has occasionally taken shots at his successors, didn’t stay behind in Washington to obstruct and disrupt the new administration.
Meanwhile, Obama is set to shatter records with a fabulously lucrative post-presidency. In what appears to be his first paid speaking engagement after leaving the White House, the former president will reportedly be paid $400,000 to speak at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald’s healthcare conference in September.
Next week he is reportedly scheduled to speak at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston, at which he will accept the Profile in Courage Award. Obama will visit Milan, Italy on May 9 for a Global Food Innovation Summit, and then Berlin where he will appear with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate.
And then Obama and his wife will drown in money.
“Two months ago, Penguin Random House won an auction to publish the first book by the Obamas since leaving office for a record price of $60 million,” Zero Hedge reports. “The sum was four times greater than the $15 million Bill Clinton received from Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, for his 2004 memoirs My Life when he left the White House. George W. Bush made an estimated $10 million from his book Decision Points.”
Nice work if you can get it.