Shadow President?

Barack Obama’s permanent residency in Washington breaks precedent and makes him the effective head of the anti-Trump opposition.

After leaving the White House in January 2017, Barack Obama and his family set out to do what all newly retired presidents have done—go back home, or find a new one. In Obama’s case, though, the new residence is in Washington, D.C. At first, the Obamas presented their choice as temporary—they wanted to let their younger daughter, Sasha, finish high school in Washington, they said—but their purchase of an 8,200-square-foot, $8 million mansion suggests a permanent stay. Obama’s postpresidency is thus shaping up to be virtually unique in American history: rather than departing Washington, he is planting his flag there, establishing, in effect, a shadow presidency.

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