Obama back in the limelight after leaving the White House

Three months after leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama stepped back into the spotlight Monday.
By David Sims | Apr 27, 2017
Three months after leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama stepped back into the spotlight Monday.

While lamenting the increased polarization of American politics, Obama encouraged young people to become civically engaged.

In his first post-presidency public appearance, Obama noticeably managed to avoid the temptation of critiquing President Donald Trump and stick to the tradition of former presidents giving their successors space in the early days of an administration.

"What's been going on while I've been gone?" the former president joked as he took the podium for a forum with Chicago students and young professionals to find ways to improve civic engagement.

While new leaders including Obama who assumed office in 2009 following the George Walker Bush presidency and the middle of a deep recession- have complained over problems inherited from their predecessors, analysts say that Trump has waded into uncharted waters with his unrelenting rhetoric about the Obama administration.

In March, President Trump hurled unsubstantiated claims that Obama "wiretapped" him at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.

Earlier this month, Trump argued that Susan Rice, Obama's security advisor, may have committed a crime by seeking to know the identities of his (Trump) associates swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by United States spy agencies.

Relations between Obama and Trump have been frosty for years. Ahead of Obama's election, Trump claimed that Obama was not born in the United States.

Trump walked away from the allegation in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Since vacating office, Obama has managed to avoid the spotlight and has avoided weighing in on Trump, who has fought to undo Obama's signature healthcare law.

Trump has also sought to tighten immigration rules and roll back environmental regulations


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