President Obama on Thursday dropped some hints about what he’ll do after his time in office, saying he could return to his roots as a community organizer.
“I’ll be done being president in a couple of years and I’ll still be a pretty young man,” he said. “And so I’ll go back to doing the kinds of work I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people.”
The president made the remarks as the White House grapples with how to respond to unrest sparked by a spate of police-related deaths of young black men.
Obama has said the problem goes beyond the police and will require sweeping policy changes that address the negative impact of drugs, unemployment, and absentee fathers in inner cities.
Obama told the group of children that he was inspired to go into public service by people on the front lines of the civil rights movement who helped push for equal treatment for African-Americans at the local level.
“Help young people get an education, help people get jobs, bring businesses into neighborhoods that don’t have enough businesses,” he said. “That’s the kind of work that I really love to do.”
During the event in Southeast Washington, Obama announced a new initiative to provide 10,000 new e-books to low-income youth.
The president said it was important to reach young people on digital platforms to boost their interest in reading.
“You’re texting all day, you’re looking at Vines and Instagrams, you’re looking at, like, grumpy cat,” he said. “More and more information is coming through in digital form. ... We want to make sure that becomes a tool not just for entertainment, but also for learning.”