One of the big questions in Washington and across the country as Joe Biden’s very public decline has accelerated is: who’s actually running the show at the White House? There have been various answers, including former White House chief of staff Ron Klain and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice; even Kamala Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff has been touted as having outsized influence. But the one name we ought to be paying more attention to is obvious – the man who cleared the 2020 field for Joe, tapped Kamala as his running mate and now hosts regular meetings at his 8,000-square-foot house just two miles from the Oval Office he used to occupy: Barack Obama.
Last week’s publication of an interview with biographer David J. Garrow by David Samuels in Tablet magazine went viral for a number of hot-button reasons, but this is the actual headline takeaway Americans ought to have for the piece: they’re living through Barack Obama’s third term. Samuels draws attention to this point particularly in the context of foreign policy:
The rest of the year, [Obama] lives in a large brick mansion in Kalorama. Doesn’t it strike you as weird that he’s an ex-president, he’s comparatively young and he’s living in the center of Washington, DC? The original excuse was that Sasha had to finish school. Then you could say, “Well, the opposition to Trump needs a figure to rally around.” But now Sasha has graduated from USC, Trump is gone, Joe Biden was elected present, but he’s still there…
Doesn’t that strike you as odd? I mean, I have heard from more than one source that there are regular meetings at Obama’s house in Kalorama involving top figures in the current White House, with Secret Service and cars outside. I don’t write about it because it’s not my lane.