Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, has been keeping busy since leaving the White House in January 2017. While he may have left his career in politics behind, Obama has been involved in various activities and projects. Here’s what he’s been up to:
After leaving the White House, Obama signed a record-setting book deal with publisher Penguin Random House. His memoir, “A Promised Land,” was released in 2020. The book explores his experiences from his early political aspirations to his historic win in the 2008 presidential election. It is expected to be the first of multiple volumes covering his political career. Obama wrote the book himself, using the same method he employed for his presidential speeches and his first book, “Dreams from My Father.”
Involvement in the 2020 Election
During the 2020 election, Obama initially chose to hold off on publicly endorsing a candidate. However, after his former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the party leader, Obama officially endorsed him in April 2020. He actively campaigned for Biden, appearing in videos and participating in socially-distanced in-person events. After Biden’s win, Obama congratulated him and Vice President Kamala Harris on social media.
Barack and Michelle Obama have been involved in producing films and series for Netflix through their production company, Higher Ground Productions. Their first production, “American Factory,” won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. They have also released a documentary called “Becoming,” which follows Michelle during her book tour, and a docuseries called “Our Great National Parks.” Other projects in the works include a film adaptation of Frederick Douglass’ biography and a drama series set in post-WWII New York.
Private Life and Philanthropy
Obama received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2017 for his passing of the Affordable Care Act. He and Michelle purchased a home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where they planned to stay for two years while their younger daughter, Sasha, completed high school. Obama has also been involved in philanthropy, donating a portion of his speaking engagement fees to job-training programs for low-income residents in the Chicago area.
Future Presidential Center
In May 2017, Obama unveiled plans for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park. The center will include a library, museum, athletic facility, and forum for public meetings. It is intended to serve as a hub for youth and community programs and contribute to the economic development of the South Side of Chicago.
Obama is known to command high fees for speaking engagements. In 2017, it was reported that he planned to charge as much as $400,000 per speaking engagement. While this drew criticism from some, supporters argue that the fees have allowed Obama to contribute to charitable causes.
Barack Obama’s Cabinet
During his presidency, Barack Obama had a cabinet composed of various individuals who held key positions in his administration. Here is a list of some of the cabinet members:
|Secretary of State||Hillary Clinton (Term 1), John Kerry (Term 2)|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Tim Geithner (Term 1), Jack Lew (Term 2)|
|Secretary of Defense||Robert M. Gates (Term 1), Leon Panetta (Term 1), Chuck Hagel (Term 2), Ashton Carter (Term 2)|
|Attorney General||Eric Holder (Term 1), Loretta Lynch (Term 2)|
|Secretary of the Interior||Ken Salazar (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Agriculture||Tom Vilsack (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Commerce||Gary Locke (Term 1), John Bryson (Term 1), Penny Pritzker (Term 2)|
|Secretary of Labor||Hilda Solis (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Health and Human Services||Kathleen Sebelius (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Housing and Urban Development||Shaun Donovan (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Transportation||Ray LaHood (Term 1), Anthony Foxx (Term 2)|
|Secretary of Energy||Steven Chu (Term 1), Ernest Moniz (Term 2)|
|Secretary of Education||Arne Duncan (Term 1 and Term 2)|
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs||Eric Shinseki (Term 1), Robert McDonald (Term 2)|
|Secretary of Homeland Security||Janet Napolitano (Term 1), Jeh Johnson (Term 2)|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What books has Barack Obama written?
A: Barack Obama has written the memoir “A Promised Land,” which was released in 2020. He has also written “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” prior to his presidency.
Q: What is Barack Obama’s involvement in the 2020 election?
A: Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden for president and actively campaigned for him during the 2020 election.
Q: What projects has Barack Obama produced for Netflix?
A: Barack and Michelle Obama have produced films and series for Netflix through their production company, Higher Ground Productions. Some of their projects include “American Factory,” “Becoming,” and “Our Great National Parks.”
Q: What is the Obama Presidential Center?
A: The Obama Presidential Center is a planned facility in Chicago’s Jackson Park. It will include a library, museum, athletic facility, and forum for public meetings. The center aims to serve as a hub for youth and community programs and contribute to the economic development of the South Side of Chicago.
Q: What is Barack Obama’s involvement in philanthropy?
A: Barack Obama has donated a portion of his speaking engagement fees to job-training programs for low-income residents in the Chicago area.