Dear President Obama,
As the presidential elections 2016 get uglier and uglier, people are starting to appreciate how ‘normal’ and even inspiring your campaigns were. Though there are many issues you failed to deliver on, your grace will be missed and appreciated. Nostalgia aside, you must be thinking hard about what to do after leaving the White House. You will no longer be one of the most powerful people in the world, and you will cease to have access to a wealth of classified information. So, I’ve made you a list of things you can do after. It’s based on what the former leaders are doing now. Hope it helps with the transition.
The Entertainment Biz
Tony Blair (UK PM, 1997 – 2007)
Baffling as it is, hours after Blair’s resignation he became a Middle East envoy on behalf of US, EU, UN and Russia. But understandably this didn’t work out for him as he resigned eight years later. He has also been lecturing at various universities. This might be fun for you too because you sure got the student vote. Rather strangely, Blair was also pretty occupied with enhancing his appreciation for fashion & luxury. He works closely with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the luxury goods firm which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, etc. Given that you’ve said you only have one style of suit you wear to save time, fashion may not welcome you with open arms.
Junichirō Koizumi (Japan PM, 2001-2016)
After his 37 years in Japanese Congress, Koizumi decided to add some entertainment experience to his CV. This desire led him into voice acting for the cartoon-based movie ‘Mega Monster Battle – Ultra Galaxy Legend: The Movie’. No, we didn’t make it up. His character, the Ultraman King, is the god/ eldest among all Ultraman heroes and is supposed to be 300,000 years old.
So President Obama, would you lend your voice to a character in the next Pixar movie?
Morihiro Hosokawa (Japan PM, 1993-1994)
Believe it or not, it’s very common to see Japanese PMs moving away from Politics in a hurry after retirement. All that stress of running a country with a rapidly ageing population must take its toll. For Hosokawa, his passion became pottery. He developed his own style of pottery where he likes to kick the pots he makes before putting them into the kiln. As the Financial Times put it, this former PM / current artist is an “innovator at heart”. Hosokawa says, “The Japanese have a rare sense of beauty that appreciates such deformities. It is not symmetric or perfectly shaped, but tilted or broken. We find beauty in imperfection.”
But it seems like you’re not moving towards retirement yet. Somehow it feels like pottery wouldn’t cut it for a man who wants to change the world.
The Simple Lifestyle
George H. W. Bush (US President, 1989-1993)
Volunteering at the local church, playing some golf, it seems that George Bush Sr. has had a pretty chilled out life after his presidency. Except for advising for his son Bush Jr. during his presidency, Bush Sr. has hardly made any public appearances. But look closer, and you’ll see behind it all Bush Sr. is actually an adrenaline junkie! He celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th, and even 90th birthdays in a very special way: Skydiving!
Maybe you just want to go thrill seeking and play some golf in between.
José Mujica (Uruguay President, 2010-2015)
During his presidency, Mujica was already living a modest lifestyle. He chose not to use the decadent presidential palace and chauffeur-driven police escort, but rather moved to a small farm with his wife and drove to work in a Volkswagen Beetle. In addition, he donates 90% of his monthly salary to charities, one of which aims to provide low-cost housing for poor communities. BBC called him the ‘world’s poorest president’ but he says: “I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.”
Being a Former President Could Also Mean A Fat Pocket.
It might be sad to leave your job as the President of the United States, but one thing you can look forward to is the money. By most accounts, leaving the top job can be very lucrative. When you have a CV that reads ‘convinced millions of people to vote for me’, ‘dealt with Vladimir Putin’ and ‘killed Bin Laden’ then you can pretty much head to any career you want. And if you want easy money, it’s simple. Write a book and give a speech once in a while.
Bill Clinton’s book ‘My Life’ brought him $15 million, it’s believed to be one of the highest amounts ever made. Jimmy Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, has written 14 books.
According to estimates, Bill Clinton has earned $75.6 million solely from giving speeches to corporations and organisations around the world, and George W. Bush has made $15 million since he left the White House.
So President Obama, don’t worry there are lots of options. And at least you won’t have to worry about retirement funds.
Waiting eagerly for the book launch.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Social Jungle.