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Barack Obama Makes Us Long For the Days of Intelligent Presidents During First Appearance Since Election


After a well-deserved vacation (and a horrific election), President Obama spoke at the University of Chicago earlier today in his first speaking engagement since leaving office (and first three months of the new regime), expressing his desire to prioritize encouraging youth to become engaged in their civic duties, and not mentioning the current President’s name once.

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Here is the very beginning of his talk, courtesy of Matt Willstein on Twitter:

And here is the full talk after that, courtesy of Fox 10 Phoenix:

In his talk, he describes the community organizing that he engaged in himself in his youth, and how despite not knowing what he was doing, continued following that path until he reached the highest office in the land.

He then goes on to moderate a talk featuring a panel of some amazing recent college graduates (and one brilliant high schooler!) who discuss the ways in which schools and communities can encourage young people to get involved in making the world better.

As reported by The Slot, Obama was encouraged by the conversation, saying, “I have to say that there’s a reason why I’m always optimistic when things look like they’re sometimes not going the way I want. And that is because of young people like this.”

He then went on to talk about prioritizing their involvement as his own career moves forward: “I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what is the most important thing I can do for my next job. The single-most important thing that I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and take their own crack at changing the world.”

If anyone can do the job, it’s him. *sob*

(image: screencap)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.