WASHINGTON – Caught in glimpses over the past few weeks, Barack and Michelle Obama appeared relatively rested and refreshed, even as they continue to decompress.
Obama is trying to keep things low-key, despite clamoring from Democrats for him to do more.
Even while taking some downtime at a luxurious resort in the South Pacific last week, Obama put out a statement urging Republicans not to unilaterally dismantle his signature health care law.
Trump dropped any remaining veneer of politeness this month with a series of tweets accusing Obama – without offering evidence – of illegally surveilling Trump Tower during the campaign.
At a GOP dinner, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., declared that Obama stayed in Washington “To run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda.”
Trump called once to thank Obama for the letter left in his desk, a pleasant tradition among presidents, but Obama was traveling at the time, according to an individual familiar with the exchange.
When Obama returned the call, Trump conveyed his thanks through an aide but said t was no need to get Obama on the phone.
For now, Obama is delegating political work to associates – notably former attorney general Eric Holder, whom he has tapped to lead the redistricting project that aims to help Democrats redraw legislative maps that many see as tilted toward the GOP. He also endorsed Tom Perez, his former secretary of labor, in a successful bid to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Michelle Obama is spending more time than her husband in Washington, working on her own post-White House book while remaining focused on the home front.