Former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are galavanting around Europe, and it's no coincidence that their sightseeing jaunt coincides with Donald Trump's first international trip as president.
Here's why: Every year, the G7 holds its big meeting, bringing together the leaders of the United State, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada. The host nation rotates each year, with the next host announced at the conclusion of each meeting. This year Italy has the honors. We've known that for a year.
Guess where the Obamas picked to "vacation" — at the exact time that Trump was meeting Pope Benedict in the Vatican and heading to Sicily for the G7? Yup. Italy.
Now, when George W. Bush left office on January 20, 2009, he made a simple pledge — he wouldn't be weighing in on every little thing his successor said or did. I had one of the last interviews with Bush in the White House, and he told me then, in his country-boy Texan way, that the job is plenty hard enough without some guy who's already done it mouthing off every two minutes. So he faded into the background, moved back to his home, and kept his mouth shut.
But Obama loves the limelight and doesn't know anything but politics. Sure, he was a terrible president (when your signature policy implodes just a few years after its enacted, you failed), but he lived and breathed politics. Instead of accomplishing great things for America — and leading, as a leader does — Obama blamed Republicans, including Bush for several years, for all of his failings as president. His strategy was to divide America and consolidate power from a small, but vocal, minority, which he successfully did for eight years.
It's sad, but Obama doesn't know how to simply go away (loser Democrats are like that — America has twice told Hillary Clinton they just weren't interested, and yet she refuses to just disappear. Al Gore and John Kerry, both of whom served this nation and deserve our gratitude, also just won't let us all move on).
Throughout Trump's trip abroad — first in Saudi Arabia, then Israel, then Italy and now Belgium — the Obamas have been traipsing across Europe as well, drawing coverage and loving the spotlight. Obama made sure he would make the news on Tuesday — when Trump was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — just by taking a walk through Bolgona. "Barack Obama leaves Michelle behind to go for a walkabout in Bologna and is mobbed by adoring fans," the Daily Mail wrote.
Former president Barack Obama was mobbed by adoring fans in Bologna on Tuesday as he took a leisurely stroll around the town.
Leaving wife Michelle behind, Obama went walkabout with several Secret Service agents.
He was in high spirits, smiling as the entourage made their way through winding streets before running headfirst into a crowd of locals eager to make his acquaintance.
He indulged them, stopping to shake hands and chat with many of the group which included young children.
As Trump prepared for meetings with foreign leaders in Brussels, Obama was off again, trying to cut into his news coverage. "OBAMA GETS ROCK-STAR WELCOME IN BERLIN, PRAISES MERKEL," screamed the Associated Press.
Barack Obama received a rock-star welcome in Berlin as he appeared at a public debate Thursday with Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he praised as one of his "favorite partners" during his presidency.
Security was tight in front of the German capital's Brandenburg Gate, where the former U.S. president and Merkel appeared on a podium before tens of thousands of people attending a gathering marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
In Berlin, as he does everywhere, Obama went into a full-throated defense of his failed presidency. And, of course, he railed against the man who succeeded him, saying "We can't isolate ourselves. We can't hide behind a wall."
But Obama has had his turn. It didn't work out that well. America decided to go a completely different direction, rejecting a continuation of his policies through Hillary and opting for change — real change.
It'd be nice if Obama could see that. And it'd be the height of humility for Obama to realize that and simply fade away.
Yet you know that'll never happen, because, unlike George W. Bush, he's simply got no class.