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Political Editors / April 25, 2017

Dear America, Obama’s Still Disappointed in You

Who’s up for yet another lecture from the former bloviator in chief on the shortcomings of our nation?

It’s hard for us to imagine that the solution to what ails America these days is another speech by Barack Obama. But evidently he thought so, and the University of Chicago agreed, hosting the former president Monday for a cynical lecture to students on how to overcome cynicism about political money. He prefers to style it as exhortation toward civic involvement.

Americans could solve all kinds of problems with hive-mind agreement if it weren’t for “special interests,” Obama lamented. “Because of money in politics, special interests dominate the debates in Washington in ways that don’t match up with the way the broad majority of Americans feel.” By “special interests,” of course, Obama means the Tea Party or the NRA, not Planned Parenthood or George Soros. And it’s especially rich to hear this criticism coming from the guy who broke all fundraising records in 2008, essentially destroying the public funding of presidential campaigns. He then directed his trillion dollar “stimulus” to special interest cronies. Everything he ever did was to please, cajole, create or otherwise use special interests.

Take for example another quote from the speech: “It’s important for those who support, as I do, immigration reform and pathways to citizenship for folks who are here not to assume that everybody who has trouble with the current immigration system is automatically racist.” Immigration was, of course, one of the primary issues he used to demonize his opponents as racists.

That brings us to Hillary Clinton, Obama’s would-be successor, who funneled all kinds of pay-to-play donations through the Clinton Foundation. Speaking of Clinton, she and Bill parlayed their political fame into a major cash cow over the years, raking in well over $100 million in about 12 years. Bill made nearly half that making speeches abroad during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state. “Special interests,” indeed. Evidently, Obama is looking to follow suit — for an upcoming health care speech in September, he’ll reportedly be paid $400,000.

Since leaving office, Obama has been on an extended vacation. But he didn’t plan on staying away, laying the groundwork for continued political activism. So this is only the beginning of his new chapter.

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