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The Thing That Wouldn't Leave - 5/27/16

President Obama had already announced in March that even after his final term as Chief Executive ends next January, he would remain in Washington until his daughter Sasha completed high school in 2018.  He has apparently now cemented this resolve by purchasing a $6 million mansion in the ritzy Kalorama DC neighborhood.

This is an unusual move for recent ex-Presidents.  Traditionally, retiring heads of state have returned to their home states to live out the remainder of their lives, LBJ and the two Bushes to Texas, Nixon and Reagan to California. The Clintons remained in Washington since the President's wife was elected to the U.S. Senate in the same year his successor was elected and the Fords chose to retire in Colorado rather than Michigan.   Undoubtedly, the return of the ex-Presidents to their native homes was partly intended to show where the former leaders hearts really were and to demonstrate that they had not "gone native" and become permanent residents of the capital city.

Now the Obamas have chosen to break this tradition.  I have a feeling that if she is elected, it will be Hillary Clinton who will be made the most uncomfortable by the President's decision to remain in town like the ghost at the funeral.  The President is traditionally the head of their political party, but it may be difficult for Bill Clinton's wife to appear as such when the last Democrat President is still in town, literally just a mile or two from the White House, with easy access to the national news media, available to comment, positively or negatively, for the benefit of the entire nation, on each and every one of his successor's actions in office.

Anyone who thinks that an ex-President Obama would refrain from doing so, obviously hasn't been paying attention for the last eight years.  Barack has always wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every wake.  It would almost-I say "almost"-- be worth seeing Hillary at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to watch how she deals with Obama's presence on the scene during the crucial first few years of her Administration.   I think she might well end up feeling like one of the characters in the classic John Belushi sketch on Saturday Night Live "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave."

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