Obama’s job new job is to keep Democrats together

Barack Obama is resurfacing. That’s good news for Democrats.

By Albert R. Hunt / Bloomberg View Columnist / April 30, 2017


Barack Obama is resurfacing. That’s good news for Democrats.

The 44th president, after a three-month hiatus relaxing with the rich and famous, spoke last week to students at the University of Chicago, and next Sunday, in what should be a memorable moment, will accept the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award at a Boston dinner commemorating the late president’s 100th birthday.

In the months ahead, there will be selective appearances, including a trip to Germany with other foreign trips, some involvement in the political sphere and much attention to building his own foundation and library.

Obama is the most popular politician in America. His elegance and decency are a contrast to what we saw in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. His standing dwarfs that of Democratic congressional and party leaders, and, after the past election, there is pervasive Clinton fatigue. He is the first ex-president since Teddy Roosevelt young enough, vibrant enough and credible enough to help shape the public dialogue.

People who know Obama will say there are important caveats. He will not engage in public feuds with Trump. Presidents always blame their predecessors for problems, but Trump has taken this to a new level with vitriol and lies. Obama associates say he won’t rise to that bait.

He also believes that Democrats need to develop new and younger voices and that