Former president Barack Obama is slowly finding his way back into the political spotlight after taking a couple of months off to gallivant around with his liberal billionaire friends. After maintaining radio silence for the first leg of the Trump presidency, Obama has been back out on the speaking circuit…and attracting some unexpected criticism from his fellow Democrats.
Part of that criticism has come from Obama’s much-publicized speaking fees; he’s accepted a couple of $400,000 gigs from Wall Street banks, much to the chagrin of people who still labored under the illusion that he was a “man of the people.” For those high-priced appearances, Obama has been chided by the progressive wing of the party, i.e., Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Other than that snag in the carpet, however, Obama has continued to enjoy a certain amount of popularity in liberal circles. He accepted a Profile in Courage award from the Kennedys last weekend, where he encouraged Democrats to demonstrate their own “courage” when it came to facing down the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
He also recorded an endorsement for French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in the days before he went up against right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, in whom many saw parallels with Donald Trump.
But as for the subject of Trump himself, Obama has remained largely silent. While he’s hinted at the administration and the Republican Party’s agenda in his speeches, he has scarcely mentioned the president by name. Whether that’s because he wants to avoid getting into a dramatic war with Trump or because he wants to leave “the resistance” to up-and-coming Democrats, one cannot know. Perhaps he’s just saving the drama for when his book comes out.
One thing is certain: the drama IS coming. There’s no doubt about it. Obama is too arrogant and too obsessed with his own popularity to simply let Trump destroy his legacy without saying something about it. If he can hold his tongue through the end of summer, it will be a miracle. Our best bet is that he’ll be taking direct shots at Trump before Independence Day.
And Trump, who loves nothing more than a good old fashioned war of words, will no doubt be happy to respond in kind.