President Barack Obama handed in his notice yesterday declaring that next week will be his last serving as our nation’s President. The news has stunned Washington and left The White House scrambling to prepare for his departure. Vice President Biden has been named the interim President, however, a search has begun for a realistic long-term replacement. The White House has posted ads on a variety of websites such as Craigslist and Monster.com and so far, they say they have received more than 4,000 resumes.
Although most of the Washington establishment was stunned by the news of Obama’s decision, those close to him weren’t as surprised. “I remember a dinner he had with George Clooney, where Clooney kept trying to talk about Darfur, but Obama kept prodding Clooney with questions about ‘how to make it in Hollywood,” reminisced one Cabinet member. At the end of the night, Obama surreptitiously handed Clooney a screenplay he had been working on and asked Clooney if he could read it when he had a chance and offer any constructive criticism, but I don’t think he ever heard back”. He kept his ear to the ground for most of 2010, but didn’t really see anything that was a good fit. “When the Bulls head coaching job opened up he was definitely interested in that” says one staffer. “He’d stay up until 3 in the morning looking at game tapes and was convinced he found a way where they could get both Kobe [Bryant] and Lebron [James] and stay under the salary cap”. After a promising first interview, the Bulls ended up going in another direction and choosing Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau. The move came as a blow to Obama. “He was definitely down for a couple of weeks after that. He’d just walk around the Oval Office in his Derrick Rose jersey muttering to himself”
Since the 2010 midterm elections Obama’s job search became more desperate. One White House staffer had this to say, “I’ve noticed him looking at job postings on Craiglist, and a few weeks ago I walked by his computer and noticed that he was working on his resume. He tried to close out of it when he saw me walking by but it was pretty obvious.”
Obama’s move is unprecedented in American History, as no President has ever left the office under his own volition. The closest parallel is when Jimmy Carter, deeply unpopular due to the fledgling economy and Iranian Hostage Crisis, took a 6-week leave of absence to, in his words, “take a break from being President Carter and just get to know Jimmy a bit better”.