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The Billion-Dollar Edifice Complex of Post-Presidential Barack Obama!

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According to the headline in the August 17, 2015 New York Times: With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency. The story goes on to say, in part: A long-running dinner this past February is part of a methodical effort taking place inside and outside the White House as the president, first lady and a cadre of top aides map out a post-presidential infrastructure and endowment they estimate could cost as much as $1 billion. The president's aides did not ask any of the guests for library contributions after the dinner, but a number of those at the table could be donors in the future".The $1 billion -- double what George W. Bush raised for his library and its various programs -- would be used for what one adviser called a "digital-first" presidential library loaded with modern technologies, and to establish a foundation with a worldwide reach.

The dinner mentioned above is only one in a series of such events, all over the nation, featuring such luminaries as noted filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria, and a host of high-rolling high-tech industry executives, particularly in California. Barack Obama even has a key team of top White House staffers handling his post-presidential planning for months now -- even though he has over two more years of present-presidency! All this represents a premature major effort by Obama.

When it comes to what is wrong with this situation, it is hard to know where to begin. One is reminded of the classic Theodore Bikel definition of chutzpah: when someone kills both of his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan. Obama chutzpah is likely to damage vital Democratic fundraising for the 2016 presidential race, congressional seats, and local candidacies as well. The reality of political fundraising is that the same donors give to all party causes and thrusts, so that many dollars raised for the grandiose Obama self-tribute are likely to reduce the dollars available for 2016 campaigns. So, perhaps Barack Obama should dedicate his overblown monument, intended for a public site in Chicago such as lovely Jackson Park along the shore of Lake Michigan, to the memory of all those Democrats he shafted.

But wait, there is more, as those annoying TV commercials go. There is, for example, that massive diversion of White House effort from all of the pressing problems of the nation, domestic and foreign, into gratifying the Barack Obama Billion-Dollar Post-Presidential Edifice Complex. Then there is the related indirect public and taxpayer subsidization of the BOBDPPEC, to turn those cumbersome words into a compact acronym. All those White House staffers working on the BOBDPPEC presumably would otherwise be working to solve the problems of the nation, not to cater to the immense ego of one Barack Obama. All those acres of lovely Jackson Park in Chicago -- or wherever else the final BOBDPPEC is raised -- will forever change those public lands. Whether or not that will be a change for the better remains to be seen, but I have doubts. What I do not doubt, in the slightest, is that Barack Obama needs to handle the business of this nation, and not his own personal quest for greatness and immortality, during the next two years!

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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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