Key Words: The four things that would pull Obama back into the political fray

Barack Obama has explicitly disavowed the existence of any plan for a return to electoral politics and has in fact gone so far as to say he sees “citizen” as the most important role in a robust democracy, but can he really mean he’ll be a wallflower ex-president?

Yes and, as he revealed in his final press conference as president earlier this week, no.

‘[T]here’s a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake.’

Barack Obama

Day-to-day, transactional politics are what he foresees himself sitting out: whether taxes are ratcheted up or moved lower; a debate over an expansion, or the opposite, of a particular federal program; or even the determination of our government’s level of concern about air pollution or climate — those, he said, all fit into the “normal back-and-forth” of quotidian politics.

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