President Obama has drastically changed his plans.
Instead of riding off into the sunset for retirement, the 44th commander-in-chief has a new objective: He wants to find his heirs and heiresses.
He told The New Yorker,
What we'll be most interested in is programming that helps the next Michelle Obama or the next Barack Obama, who right now is sitting out there and has no idea how to make their ideals live, isn't quite sure what to do — to give them resources and ways to think about social change.
It's clear why this is an objective for him.
With Hillary Clinton comfortably leading the polls before the presidential election, Obama had been looking forward to a smooth transition of power, to a politician who was set on building his policies.
In his conversation with New Yorker editor David Remnick, Obama said,
I think that if Hillary Clinton had won the election then I'd just turn over the keys. We'd make sure the briefing books were in order and out we go.
The shock result where President-Elect Donald Trump won the Electoral College has dramatically changed the picture.
While Obama is set on helping Trump make a smooth transition into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the cruel reality of that transition is obvious: Instead of Clinton's presidency – which would have cemented his legacy – Trump's presidency threatens to reduce that same legacy to "toast," as political columnist Charles Krauthammer put it.
So, what is left to do now? Rebuild.
I'll be 55 when I leave, assuming that I get a couple more decades of good health, at least, then I think both Michelle and I are interested in creating platforms that train, empower, network, boost the next generation of leadership.
Even before the election, the Democrats had a tall task ahead of them. The party had a net loss of nine senate seats, 13 governors and 63 house seats since Obama was first elected in 2008.
But it's losing the seat in the Oval Office that undoubtedly hurts the most. And because of that loss, Barack and Michelle have work to do.