Barack Obama Is Preparing for His Third Term

He was supposed to retire to a triumphant post-. Then Trump happened. Now, as Jason Zengerle reports, Obama is gearing up for a political battle he never planned to wage—and has no intention of losing.


The day after Donald Trump’s election, morning dawned with a drizzle in Washington, D.C. And at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a few dozen White House staffers crowded into the West Wing office of Josh Earnest, President Obama’s press secretary.


A more likely course of events, say those in Obama’s orbit, is an acrimonious battle with Trump. Which means the biggest question confronting Obama is when—and how—to attack.


“Obama feels he can be effective saying, ‘I was inexperienced when I took the job, here’s what I learned, here’s what it’s like being president,’” one Obama adviser says. “He hopes that by trying to teach Trump how to be president, some of it rubs off.”


“There was one sort of framework for what his post-presidency would look like, which was contingent on Clinton winning. Then Trump happened and that threw it all in the trash bin.”



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