As President Barack Obama goes into the final stretch of his presidency, the media is pondering what his post-presidential plans will be. There are two ideas floating around this week one by New York Post’s Page Six on April 27, 2015 another from the president himself on Thursday, April 30 at an education event at a Washington area library increasing e-book access for students. President will either be taking a professorship at Columbia University to teach law or go back to community organizing.
The Page Six article published on Monday, April 27 reported that a source claims President Obama is in talks with Columbia to teach. The source told the paper, “President Obama is considering his next move after leaving the White House. It is clear that he is giving thought to his work with his foundation, the creation of his presidential library, and how he could continue to work in an influential role. There has been talk about him teaching at Columbia Law School, but nothing has been confirmed.” President Obama has strong ties with Columbia University, having transferred to there in his junior year and then graduating from the university with a political science degree in 1983. Previously President Obama taught law at the University of Chicago.
President Obama alluded to his post-presidential plans on Thursday, April 30, at education event at Anacostia Library in Washington, D.C. with middle school students. Obama recounted to the students that the civil rights movement was the reason he decided to work in public service. Obama expressed his longing to return to that work, “I’ll be done being president in a couple of years and I’ll still be a pretty young man. And so I’ll go back to doing the kinds of work I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people.” The president outlined that he would want to “Help young people get an education, help people get jobs; bring businesses into neighborhoods that don’t have enough businesses. That’s the kind of work that I really love to do.”
It is uncertain what city the president and first couple will live after he finishes his term or even where even his presidential is located. At this moment, there is a competition between Chicago and New York over his library. Obama family friends, that even though he still own a home in Chicago he would not choose to live there afterwards, opting instead for New York and spending part time in his home state of Hawaii.
Obama’s perspective living arrangements give credence to the rumors he might teach at Columbia and even have his presidential library built there. The Obama’s eldest daughter Malia, a high school junior has been visiting universities in New York including Columbia. Former Obama aide and Friend Reggie Bush, has implied that the Obamas will remain in Washington so that daughter Sasha will complete high school.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.