President Barack Obama will be teaching constitutional law at Penn Law School in the Spring 2017 term upon leaving the White House.
“He wanted to take a break from politics,” an unnamed White House staff member said of his decision. “And he thought the relaxing atmosphere at Penn might be a nice break.”
Outgoing President Obama will spend the first few years commuting to Penn from Washington D.C. because he expects his current battle with the Senate to get Judge Merrick Garland confirmed to the Supreme Court to last several years beyond his presidency.
“He's ready to leave politics, but he's set on making sure he leaves a lasting legacy in the Supreme Court no matter what,” the staffer said. When asked what the President planned to do if the Senate rejected his nomination, Obama said his backup nominees included himself and Penn president Amy Gutmann.
His current battle for the Supreme Court will be the subject of his course at Penn, which will be called “Confirming Supreme Court Nominees: A Case Study.”
In addition to his back-to-back White House terms, Obama’s course will also reflect his 12-year tenure as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
Despite being offered teaching positions by numerous universities across the country, the staffer said that Obama was ultimately won over by Penn for personal reasons, specifically his relationship with the Biden family.
After ruling out returning to Chicago, Obama leaned on Vice President Joe Biden to make the decision of where he would go after his presidency. “I think it was pretty clear the Obamas wanted to stay close to the Bidens, and since they are returning to Delaware, Penn was an obvious choice for the President,” the staffer said. "After spending eight years in Washington together, neither of them were ready to let go of their 'bromance.'"
The story comes just days before the Ivy League will announce its admissions decisions to high school seniors, and when Malia Obama will inevitably decide to submatriculate to Penn. While the White House staffer declined to comment on whether Malia had made up her mind, they acknowledged that her strong interest in Penn factored into Obama's decision.
"The President likes to be actively involved in his children's lives. I wouldn't be surprised if he is planning on moving the family to stay with Malia when she goes to college," they said. The staffer did not offer a prediction for what the family would do when 14-year-old Sasha heads to college in four years.
According to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, DPS is already teaming up with the Secret Service to prepare for Obama’s arrival in less than a year. They have begun planning safety protocol, including a hostile takeover of Amy Gutmann's house, which will become headquarters for the Secret Service.
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