Tag Archives: Barack

‘I’m young, Black and not all that impressed with Barack Obama’ | Opinion


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Fact check: Barack Obama favored Hillary Clinton over Joe Biden in 2016


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A Promised Land: Indian lawyer ‘sues’ Barack Obama for insulting leaders in memoir


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The Trumps are refusing to turn over the keys to the Bidens — and Michelle and Barack Obama have had enough


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Barack Obama rules out role in Biden cabinet – 'Michelle would leave me'

Barack Obama rules out role in Biden cabinet – 'Michelle would leave me'The former president vows to help Biden ‘in any ways that I can’ but details toll his position took on wife’s law careerBarack Obama would not take a position in Joe Biden’s cabinet if the president-elect offered it – because if he did, he fears, Michelle Obama would leave him.The 44th president made the remark in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, two days ahead of publication of his memoir, A Promised Land. He was due to speak to CBS again, for 60 Minutes, on Sunday night.Biden, Obama’s vice-president from 2009 to 2017, is preparing to become the 46th president in January, having defeated Donald Trump at the polls.Asked how he will help Biden, Obama said: “He doesn’t need my advice, and I will help him in any ways that I can. Now, I’m not planning to suddenly work on the White House staff or something.”Susan Rice and Michelle Flournoy are among Obama administration veterans reportedly being considered for key posts under Biden.Asked if he would consider a cabinet position, Obama said: “There are some things I would not be doing because Michelle would leave me. She’d be like, what? You’re doing what?”The Obamas have enough to occupy their time as it is, not least through establishing a charitable foundation and fulfilling a production deal with Netflix.In his book, Obama considers what his meteoric rise to the US Senate and then the White House meant for his marriage to Michelle and family life with their daughters, Sasha and Malia.“My career in politics, with its prolonged absences, had made it even tougher” for his wife to pursue her own law career, he writes. “More than once Michelle had decided not to pursue an opportunity that excited her but would have demanded too much time away from the girls.“… With my election [as president] she’d been forced to give up a job with real impact for a role [as first lady] that – in its original design, at least – was far too small for her gifts.”The Obamas’ literary gifts have at least paid off. A Promised Land is part of a reported $ 65m deal with Penguin Random House that also covered Becoming, Michelle Obama’s memoir, released in 2018, and which has sold more than 10m copies. The former president is expected to produce a second volume.Though Trump shows no sign of willingly giving up power, his memoirs are already the subject of speculation – and a rumoured $ 100m price tag.Another passage of Obama’s CBS interview might have had resonance for the current president, had he been watching.Obama discussed what it is like to have the luxurious trappings of office, in this instance the presidential motorcade, inevitably taken away.“I’m driving along,” Obama said, laughing. “I’m still not driving, but [I’m] in the car. I’m in the car in the backseat and I’m looking at my iPad or something. And suddenly, we stop and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ There’s a red light. There’s a car right next to us. Some kids are eating a burrito or something in the backseat.“Back to life.”



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Donald Trump shares image of Barack Obama scaling Trump Tower

Donald Trump shares image of Barack Obama scaling Trump TowerDonald Trump has tweeted a photoshopped image of Barack Obama scaling the walls of Trump Tower with suction cups and holding binoculars.The image, which was posted without a caption, appeared to be a reference to Mr Trump’s claims that Mr Obama and the FBI illegally spied on him.



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Flake to GOP: What would you do if it were Barack Obama, not Donald Trump?

Flake to GOP: What would you do if it were Barack Obama, not Donald Trump?Jeff Flake wrote to his former Senate colleagues that not only is Trump on trial, but "so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong."



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Barack Obama thinks 'woke' kids want purity. They don't: they want progress

Barack Obama thinks 'woke' kids want purity. They don't: they want progressThe former president took black and progressive movements to task, without understanding his own failure to deliver change • Call-out culture: how to get it right (and wrong)Former president Barack Obama speaks with actress, model, and activist Yara Shahidi during the Obama Foundation summit in Chicago, on 29 October. Photograph: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/APOn Tuesday, in Chicago, former president Barack Obama joined actress Yara Shahidi in a conversation with activists from his Obama Foundation program. Over the nearly 1.5-hour Obama Foundation summit event, the beloved political figure deployed his trademark charm and humor while discussing the challenges of movement politics.Media attention has focused on a particular part of the conversation – Obama’s criticism of call-out culture and what he perceived as an excessively strident activist left. “We can’t completely remake society in a minute,” Obama said, “so we have to make some accommodations to the existing structures.”He added, “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids and share certain things with you.”He then made a separate point about social media activism:“If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. ‘Man you see how woke I was, I called you out.’” But “that’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change.”On its face, these are fair remarks. During the session, both Obama and Shahidi drew from examples of the nonviolent civil rights movement of the early 1960s, which required enormous faith, patience and compromise from its activists in the face of threats to their lives and livelihood. Today, as social justice activists’ material conditions have relatively improved, they will encounter people in positions of power with wealth and access, and they have to learn to work with them on some level, Obama implied. And no, tweeting about a verb probably won’t bring about change.However, we can’t look at Obama’s remarks in a vacuum. From 2016 – as he prepared to exert his influence over who would be the next Democratic nominee – to the present, Obama has often aimed his political critiques at youth-led, black and progressive movements. While upholding the necessity of nuance, Obama himself seems to force these movements into a box, cherry-picking anecdotes for a strawman: that these movements expect purity and demand perfection.> This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke … you should get over that. The world is messy. There are ambiguities> > Barack ObamaIn an early instance of this ideological pattern, at a 2016 youth town hall in London, Obama spoke generally of Black Lives Matter while referring to the handful of activists who confronted the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her role in criminalizing black youth:“Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention … then you can’t just keep on yelling at them. And you can’t refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position. The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room.”A few months later in a Howard commencement address, with Chicago protests of the police killing of Laquan McDonald not far in the distance, he told the audience of mostly black students about his criminal justice reform as a state senator:“I can say this unequivocally: without at least the acceptance of the police organizations in Illinois, I could never have gotten those [criminal justice reform] bills passed … If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want.”And earlier this year, Obama again raised the amorphous specter of purity politics as people have embraced a leftward policy shift:“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States … is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be’ and then we start … a ‘circular firing squad’, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues.”Obama has offered these platitudes without much evidence that progressives, Black Lives Matter activists or young voters expect purity. Impatience with the status quo is not purity. A consistent political project is not purity. And being patient has its limits.> For many Americans, the normalization of genuinely leftwing policies is providing the hope and change Obama campaigned onYou can gather from the general direction of Obama’s career, from turning down a route in corporate law to his community organizing, that he has some commitment to social justice. However, his remarks indicate discomfort with more radical tactics in achieving it, reducing them to petulant zeal and not a legitimate strategy among the broad scope of tools needed to dismantle oppressive systems.While discussing Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King as examples of patient progress, he freezes them in time. He failed to note either King’s or Parks’s evolutions. Over time King became more radicalized and questioned integration. When Parks was forced to Detroit to retreat from the backlash against her bus boycott activism, she became a proponent of the Panthers’ self-defense demands and identified Malcolm X as her personal hero.Obama also failed to discuss how, despite King’s strategies negotiating with Lyndon Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress waffled in passing further civil rights measures until the 1968 riots after King’s assassination, when Congress was forced to swiftly pass the Fair Housing Act.Or go back further: despite the negotiations and patience of abolitionists in the 1800s, it was a steady stream of black uprisings, and an entire civil war, that gave abolition laws and the Emancipation Proclamation any teeth.Obama’s fundamental problem is in confusing a strategy of pragmatism with the strategy. Pragmatic approaches can coexist with more radical politics. But Obama’s pattern of dismissing radical demands altogether shows a serious unwillingness to appreciate the times. Obama is committed to a notion of reaching across the aisle that may have seemed necessary in 2012, but not so much in 2019.Americans in the throes of economic struggle and social oppression have been advised to hold their nose for so long that they’re suffocating. The labor movement is experiencing more worker strikes now than in the past 40 years. We’re in a 1968 moment, not 1963. But Obama has not accepted this evolution.As people demand universal policies for basic needs of shelter, food, freedom from police terror, and economic security, and when wealth inequality is the worst in a century, Obama has to reckon with his own questions. How is his form of calling out – scolding black, young and progressive movements – bringing about change? Is he part of the solution or part of the problem?For many Americans, the normalization of genuinely leftwing policies is providing the hope and change Obama campaigned on. This is the time for him to finally help achieve it.



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'He led from his soul': Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton remember Elijah Cummings in Baltimore

'He led from his soul': Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton remember Elijah Cummings in BaltimoreFormer presidents and world leaders delivered powerful eulogies at the funeral for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who died on Oct. 17 at age 68.



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'Fair maps': Barack Obama launches new initiative to help take on partisan gerrymandering

'Fair maps': Barack Obama launches new initiative to help take on partisan gerrymanderingFormer President Barack Obama said gerrymandering is an issue he has made a top priority from his "2008 campaign until now." But the Supreme Court recently ruled maps that resulted from partisan redistricting are constitutional.



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