Obama making first public appearance of post-presidency in Chicago


Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama making first public appearance of post-presidency in Chicago Why acrimony still impedes nuclear disarmament Greens take climate fight to GOP town halls MORE will make the first public appearance of his post-presidency on Monday when he speaks at an event in his hometown of Chicago, his office said Friday. 

It ends a three-month period of relative silence since Obama left office on Jan. 20, much of which he has spent on vacation in Palm Springs, Calif., on a Caribbean island with Richard Branson and an exclusive resort in French Polynesia. 

Obama will participate in a town-hall style discussion with young people on “community organizing and civic engagement” at the University of Chicago, near the site of his planned presidential library. 

“This event is part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world,” his office said in a statement. 

The event is the beginning of Obama’s reentry into public life. He is scheduled to travel to Boston next month to accept the John F. Kennedy “Profile In Courage” award. The former president will also meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, a visit that coincides with President Trump’s first overseas trip to a NATO summit in Belgium. 

But people close to the president say that Obama isn’t expected to use his events to go after his successor, even though Trump baselessly accused the former president of wiretapping and blamed him for a series of foreign crises. 

“It’s not in anyone’s interest … for [Obama] to become the face of the resistance or narrate the Trump presidency,” one person said earlier this month. “He’s acutely aware that when he speaks, he sucks up all the oxygen, and that suppresses the next generation of leaders from rising.”

Obama has indirectly gone after Trump on several occasions, issuing statements praising protests against his travel ban and defending his healthcare law, which Republicans attempted to repeal last month.

The former president has also dipped his toe into international politics, phoning French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Thursday. 

Macron is the top challenger to Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front Party, in Sunday’s presidential election. 

Trump allies, including chief strategist Stephen Bannon, have praised Le Pen. 

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