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Obamas Won't Leave Washington After Presidency

Obamas Won't Leave Washington After Presidency
 

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Sunday, 17 April 2016 09:50 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In a move that is unusual and almost unique for a former first family, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle intend to stay in Washington D.C., after he leaves office next January.

At the regular briefing for White House reporters last Thursday, press secretary Josh Earnest told Newsmax that the president "has indicated in the last couple of months that he and the First Lady intend to remain in Washington while their youngest daughter [Sasha] completes high school."

Sasha Obama is scheduled to graduate from the Washington-based Sidwell Friends Academy in 2019.

"Unusual " and "almost unprecedented" are terms presidential historians have used to describe a former president who remains in the nation's capital once his successor takes office.

Modern presidents have decided to give their successor room by getting out of town. George W. Bush moved back to Dallas and has kept a relatively low profile for a former president, his father, George H.W. Bush, returned to Houston, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan went back to Los Angeles.

Indeed, there are only two examples among the 43 former presidents of those who stayed in Washington.

Woodrow Wilson, said to be ailing after a stroke, moved to a house on Washington's S Street immediately after vacating the White House. He lived there until his death three years later. Bill Clinton has maintained a residence in Northwest Washington since leaving office on January 20, 2001, but his main residence has been in New York, where he and Hillary are registered voters.

But Obama's top spokesman also hinted strongly to Newsmax that Obama's eventual return to his hometown of Chicago was a distinct possibility.

Newsmax recently interviewed Chicago attorney Newton Minow, a friend and onetime colleague of both Obamas at the Chicago-based Sidley Austin law firm.

"I understand he'll stay in Washington for the foreseeable future," said Minow, a onetime chairman of the FCC and close political operative for 1950s Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson, "but after that, I sure hope he moves back here. A lot of us Chicagoans want him back."

Beyond Obama's immediate plans to stay in Washington, Earnest told us, "I don’t know that any permanent decisions have been made."

"Is Chicago on the list?" we asked.

"I certainly wouldn’t rule it out," replied Earnest, "I think the president’s affection for his hometown is well known."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.











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In a move that is unusual and almost unique for a former first family, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle intend to stay in Washington D.C., after he leaves office next January. At the regular briefing for White House reporters last Thursday, press secretary Josh...
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Sunday, 17 April 2016 09:50 PM
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