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Obama Urges Americans ‘To Be The Guardians Of Our Democracy’

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | January 30, 2017 | msnbc.com |

Two weeks ago, in his final press conference before leaving the White House, President Obama was asked about how he might approach the political arena once he’s a private citizen. It’s an important question: presidents have traditionally gone out of their way to give their successors a wide berth, not just during the transition, but also in the years that follow.

Then again, traditionally, Americans haven’t elected someone like Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office.

Obama acknowledged on Jan. 18 that, after Inauguration Day, the new president and new Congress would make their own determinations about the nation’s direction, and he intended to say little. “But,” he added, “there’s difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake.”

And with that in mind, the former president issued a formal statement through his spokesperson this afternoon, his first since leaving office, in response to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy – not just during an election but every day.

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