President Obama has talked about what his post-presidential life will entail in bits and pieces. Usually, it's nothing more than where his daughter Sasha wants to finish high school, or quotes like, "I'll be on a beach somewhere, drinking out of a coconut."
But while talking to students on Thursday at the Anacostia Library in Southeast Washington, D.C., Obama gave a clearer look into his aspirations once his eight-year tenure in the White House ends. Perhaps inspired by the protests in Baltimore over the death of a young black man in police custody, and the general economic strife of that city, Obama said that he wants to go back to working with struggling communities after his presidency.
"I'll be done being president in a couple years, and I'll still be a pretty young man," he said. "So, I'll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before. Just trying to find ways to help people, help young people get educations, and help people get jobs, try to bring business into neighborhoods that don't have enough businesses. That's the kind of work that I really love to do."
While Obama has said the bit about being a young man before, the rest of the sentiment is more expansive than he's been previously. His priorities for urban youth, however, are not new.
Last year, the president launched the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, which is focused on giving young Americans the opportunity to gain an education, remain safe from crime, and secure a job after school, among other goals. The initiative is primarily geared toward young men of color.
While Jimmy Carter turned his focus to housing and Bill Clinton to global sustainability, it would make sense if Obama turned his attention to struggling communities in urban America. His life before politics involved work as a community organizer and lawyer on the south side of Chicago. Life after politics could well be much the same, but on a national scale, in neighborhoods across the country.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.