Despite President Donald Trump’s attacks on nearly every notable part of Barack Obama’s White House legacy — including the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord, and the Affordable Care Act — the former president is avoiding the news spotlight.
According to an extensive report in New York magazine, Obama isn’t fretting about his legacy, and has told close friends that “Michelle and I are fine.” Additionally, he believes Trump’s America to be just one page in world history, and focuses on the big picture.
Writer Gabriel Debenedetti captures Obama’s attitude to Trump in the following graf:
“[I]n private conversations, Obama rarely mentions Trump at all. Those who’ve visited the office he’s leased from the World Wildlife Fund in Washington’s West End say he’s eager to talk for hours about the world’s ills.”
The former president, Debenedetti writes, “has mostly opted out of liberal America’s collective Trump-outrage cycle. Though he reads the Times and other newspapers, he doesn’t [obsess over] daily Trump developments … He is upset by the administration’s actions, and he’s confided to friends that what worries him most is the international order, the standing of the office of the presidency, the erosion of democratic norms.”
Furthermore, Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama White House official, explains that Obama isn’t very interested in the exhausting Trump news cycle.
“Even when we were in the White House, he wasn’t interested in discussing the day-to-day of politics, whether it was Speaker Boehner or Speaker Ryan or Leader McConnell, or whatever was the news of the day,” Jarrett said. “Wasting time on things he can’t control is not of interest to him. Getting sucked into a conversation over someone who he has no ability to influence? What’s the point?”
Eric Holder, who previously served as attorney general, said watching Trump try to dismantle his legacy hard for Obama.
“This has been a difficult thing for him, and for me, to see what this administration has done to the policy initiatives that we put in place and that were proving to be successful,” Holder said. “But I think it’s really been true — we’ve had conversations about this — he’s been encouraged by the amount of progressive energy he’s seen around the country.”
[featured image via Win Mcnamee/Getty Images]
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