Category:  Thoughts

What Now: After Presidents Leave Office

What happens after a presidency?

As the 44th presidency comes to a close, we are all wondering, what will Obama do next? Every former president retains the title Mr. President, but all are booted from The White House on the inauguration day of the next president. Obama is no exception. However, Obama is unique in his plans to remain in the nation’s capital upon completion of his eighth year this January. It is very uncommon for a president to stay in DC, and even the last president to stay in Washington, Woodrow Wilson, only remained because of his declining health.

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Obama clarified that he will be completely packed and moved on Inauguration day. He is guaranteed one last ride on Air Force One, but will be moving somewhere else in the DC area so that his youngest daughter Sasha can finish high school at Sidwell Friends School. He explained that once he leaves office, he will be able to drive again and own fully functioning technology. He joked on the show that he will have to relearn how to use the buttons in an elevator.

Obama will have plenty of time to relearn how to push buttons just as 35 other presidents have after leaving office, some accomplishing incredible things even after The White House. Eight presidents were unable to experience life after presidency because they died in office.

George W. Bush: 2009-Present

When George W. Bush left office, he had a 33 percent approval rating and the country was politically divided. Many Americans claimed he left unfinished business in The White House. However, he had a variety of accomplishments in the years to follow. At the request of president Obama, Bush had teamed up with former President Clinton to form a fundraising campaign after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Additionally, he wrote a memoir “Decision Points” and facilitated the building of his presidential library.

Although Bush was thriving as a community member in Dallas, he had some health issues in 2013. He underwent surgery for blockage in his heart, thereby avoiding a heart attack.

Today you can find Bush following in the footsteps of his hero, Winston Churchill, painting pictures of his pets in his home in Dallas.

Bill Clinton: 2001-Present

Bill Clinton has improved and revitalized his image since his infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal during his presidency. He has founded many fundraising foundations: the William J. Clinton Foundation created for climate initiative, the Clinton Foundation Haiti fund in which he collaborated with George W. Bush to aid earthquake victims and the Clinton Presidential Foundation founded to combat HIV/AIDS.

As most presidents do, Clinton wrote a bestselling autobiography called My Life and oversaw the construction of his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The most notable post-presidential accomplishment of Clinton is the special award granted to him by President Obama. Obama honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions and interest of the United States and world peace.

Clinton is currently living in Chappaqua, New York with his wife and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and spending time with his granddaughter Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

George H.W. Bush: 1993-Present

Like his son, George H. W. Bush returned to Texas after his presidency and founded several foundations. His foundations include the Bush-Clinton Houston Tsunami Fund and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. His volunteer work extends to his local church, local hospital and participating in the various campaigns of his sons Jeb Bush and George W. Bush.

Bush has had to fight Parkinson’s disease and a serious case of bronchitis at age 88. Nothing has stopped him from enjoying life. Bush has taken up the hobby of skydiving on his last three milestone birthdays.

He currently remains in Houston with his wife of 70 years, Barbara Bush.

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