President Donald Trump's predecessor doesn't have the same addiction to Twitter as the current commander in chief. Former President Obama has sent out 11 tweets since Inauguration Day, Jan. 20; Trump can do that in just over a day. Instead, he and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been splitting their time between their new home in Washington, D.C. and vacations on islands around the world — really not a bad gig. But that's not all that he is up to.
So, what is Obama doing now? He's working on a memoir among other things, like setting up his library and taking on redistricting as his new political focus — yes, redistricting.
The Washington Post ran a report on the Obama's life post-presidency, and there are plenty of new developments. Obama has an office in the West End neighborhood of D.C., where he has tasked former attorney general Eric Holder to focus on controlling the gerrymandering that has tilted congressional districts, most recently in favor of the GOP. Others from the administration are focused on different tasks or being outsourced to work in the Democratic party, like former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who became chair of the DNC after Obama put him forward as his own pick. Michelle also works from the office with a staff of four.
Both she and her husband are focused on books. Besides his political work and her community outreach, both are penning post-White House memoirs for Penguin Random House. Michelle has written much of hers from D.C., but Obama's current plan is to write much of his next book from the South Pacific island of Tetiaroa, formerly owned by actor Marlon Brando.
That's only the most recent destination that Obama has frequented. As has been widely covered in the press, the family has made many trips since Trump took office. First they headed off to Palm Springs, then the Caribbean, and finally Hawaii. Longtime adviser Valerie Jarrett explained this to the Post: "He is enjoying a lower profile where he can relax, reflect, and enjoy his family and friends," she told the paper.
Another former senior White House staffer went even further:
They are still decompressing from an extremely intense period. It actually started not just eight years ago but really since his 2004 convention speech — and it never let up. It’s like 12 years of extremely intense stress, political activity, scrutiny, responsibility as a national leader, and for the first lady as the surrogate in chief ... That’s been a big load for the both of them.
But with the decompressing comes work. Even if written from a South Pacific island, the writing has to happen. Some of the money Obama makes off of the book will be donated to The Obama Foundation, which ties together all of his and Michelle's projects as of late. Priority number one is the presidential library.
After eight years of hard work, you can't blame him for wanting to do as much as possible from the beach, but rest assured the Obamas are still in the game.