President Barack Obama recently sat down with an interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for Vanity Fair. While the interview covered a wide range of topics, perhaps the most interesting part was when the president suggested that he would be taking more activist stands once he left the Oval Office.
He couldn’t go into specifics, but Obama told Goodwin that there were “things” he felt “that in some ways I suspect I’m able to do better out of this office” because of the “institutional constraints” of his position.
“There are institutional obligations I have to carry out that are important for a president of the United States to carry out, but may not always align with what I think would move the ball down the field on the issues that I care most deeply about,” he said, hinting that he would use his post-Oval Office bully pulpit to push for changes in a more activist light than he was capable of as the president.
Because previous former presidents have avoided controversy, rather than going after it, as Obama seems to suggest he will be doing, this means that Obama will certainly be a very different kind of ex-president than this country is used to. And it just might be that we’re ready for it.