Much has been made about who will enter the oval office following a highly controversial election cycle. Much has not been made, however, about the plans of the incumbent president and vice president following the end of their tenure in office. Typically, a president will work on compiling his memoirs, constructing his library and spending time with his family while maintaining a presence in the public eye. A vice president, on the other hand, will either try to run for the presidency or move into academia while also spending more time with their family and continuing some sort of activist work. With that being said, the current president and vice president are fundamentally different than any duo to leave the office.
Obama, at 55 years of age, will be the second youngest president to ever depart office. He will move to a home in one of Washington D.C.’s many wealthy suburbs where he intends to continue his work as an activist helping the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. There has also been speculation that Obama, who is already an accomplished writer, will go back into writing. Additionally, Obama will work on setting up his presidential library in his home state of Illinois. Given Obama’s relative youth and the breadth of issues that he has covered and is passionate about, it is reasonable to assume that the former president will remain active in both the Democratic Party and in activist work for quite some time. In addition to remaining politically active, Obama has also hinted that he would like to be involved in sports, particularly basketball, which is the sport that he is most passionate about. Regardless of the speculation, departing office in relative youth allows President Obama to pursue whatever path he desires.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, will be 74 years old when he departs the White House. Biden has made it clear that intends to remain a vocal advocate for issues that are important to him. In particular, Biden is tremendously invested on a personal level in cancer research as brain cancer took his son just a few months ago. Biden has also mentioned the possibility of returning to academia and beginning his own institute for domestic and foreign policy at a school such as the University of Delaware, which is located in the state that Biden represented in the Senate for many years. In comparison to Obama, Biden is much older, making the opportunities that he could pursue more limited. It is clear however, that Biden does intend to be active but in a more limited and focused capacity.
In comparison to their predecessors, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Obama and Biden clearly intend to continue to be active and to remain in the public eye. The extent to which they do so will likely be greater than Bush and Cheney, however, that will only be determined with any certainty after they have departed office and established their post-White House careers. In an era when so many issues are being confronted in the United States, Obama and Biden have committed themselves to continue the fight long after they depart.