Barack Obama Will Give President-Elect Space But Will Also Defend U.S. Ideas [Opinion]

President Barack Obama has stated that he will give Donald Trump space when he becomes president. However, Obama has not promised that he will play by the hands-off rule, which is for the former president to not comment on the strategies of his successor.

Obama has taken on the role of Encourager-in Chief since Trump won over Hillary Clinton. Many Democrats and Independents who voted for Hillary are still reeling from the election, and others have protested in the streets chanting and holding signs stating “Not My President” in reference to Trump.

As the Democratic party looks for strong leadership, it appears that they need look no further than the soon-to-be former president. He has words of advice and has said that Democrats should not treat the president-elect the way that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Ky.) behaved toward the president himself, blocking most of his initiatives. With grace, Obama has said if there is something good that Trump or his emissaries are doing for the American people that Democrats should work with them.

Obama has called for Democratic party loyalists from all over the country to become active but avoid “micro-targeting,” according to Politico. At a press conference at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, the president reflected on Trump, the office of the presidency, and he, as the soon-to-be former president, will take part in politics as an American citizen.

Obama has vowed that he will not take part in every fight or controversy that involves Trump but will do so when necessary.

“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance but as an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes.”

In other words, the president is saying when he believes that words and actions are too far off base, he’s going to speak out. Some may view this as interference, but in light of the recent political upset, it could be looked upon as an effective strategy. Trump ran an unconventional campaign, which he refers to as a movement, and it resulted in a victory for the Republican party. With a Republican majority in the House and Senate, he may mistakenly believe that all of his policies will be easily approved but that won’t necessarily happen. Trump is a Washington outsider and there are those within his own party who opposed him.

Obama also disclosed to the press that he advised Trump to obtain “a strong White House counsel to advise him against conflicts of interest that might arise from business dealings that involve his children and policy decisions, added Politico. This is sage advice as questions have already arisen as to why Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, was at his meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan and the prominence of the Trump children’s role on the transition team.

Obama attempted to reassure those at the APEC summit that campaigning and governing highly differ. While he couldn’t guarantee concerned foreign allies that Trump will not make good on some of his campaign promises, he explained that some of Trump’s idea will have to be adjusted as they are impossible to execute, noted ATTN.

Mostly President Obama did a lot of explaining to foreign leaders who may, like some of the American people, be wondering how a Trump presidency will play itself out in real time.

[Featured Image by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images]