“Send us your ideas, your hopes, your beliefs about what we can achieve together,” the first lady said. “This is going to be your presidential center just as much as it is ours. We want you to tell us what we should be thinking about as we get to work.”
President Obama described the center, which will be run by the Obama Foundation, as “more than a library of museum. It will be a living, working center for citizenship.”
But Michelle Obama also cautioned, “First we’re going to take a little break. We’re finally going to get some sleep and take some time to be with our family, and just be still for a little bit. So, we might not be online quite as much as you’re used to seeing.”
In the video, President Obama also urged his supporters to put the end of his presidency in perspective. “Democracy is bigger than any one person.”
A handful of White House aides will be joining the Obamas once they enter private life, to work in both their respective post-presidential offices and at the foundation.
White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz will set up his own public affairs practice, according to an individual familiar with the arrangement, but the bulk of his work will be serving as Obama’s senior adviser. His tasks will include developing a strategy for his public profile, helping defend his legacy and engaging administration alumni and well as Democrats on Capitol Hill and their allies in delivering a common message.
Kevin Lewis, who just finished serving as the Justice Department’s deputy communications director, will serve as Obama’s primary spokesman, while Caroline Morales, who was Michelle Obama’s communications director, will serve in that same capacity in her personal office.
“The president is a transformational figure in American history and he takes seriously his next role as citizen,” Schultz said in an email. “Caroline and Kevin are two of the best communicators in the business and the President is enormously grateful they will be staying as part of his team.”