Former President Barack Obama made it clear that he will not be returning to the White House in any capacity but is still willing to help President-elect Joe Biden during his administration. Obama joked that his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, would "leave me" if he took a new White House role. The nation's 44th president has been busy promoting the first volume of his memoir on his time in office, A Promised Land, which will be released on Tuesday.
In his interview with CBS News' Gayle King on Sunday, Obama said he would help Biden "in any ways that I can," although he does not think Biden needs his advice. "But now, you know, I'm not planning to suddenly work on the White House staff or something," Obama told King, who then asked if he would take a cabinet role. "There are probably some things I would not be doing, 'cause Michelle would leave me," Obama, 59, said with a laugh. "She'd be like, 'What? You're doin' what?'"
Elsewhere in the sit-down with King, Obama noted that Michelle was not interested in getting into politics, but she was supportive of his political ambitions. "I am mindful of the sacrifices that she made, but the good news is that for whatever reason, she has forgiven me, sort of," he told King. "She still reminds me occasionally of what she put up with!"
Obama is the country's first Black president and left the White House in January 2017 after completing two terms. After the Obamas left, there was a sense of relief, especially for Michelle, who felt she no longer had to "get everything right all the time," Obama noted. He has also been allowed to go places without a full motorcade surrounding him. He is still not driving himself, but now he has to sit in traffic like everyone else.
"I'm drivin' along – I'm still not driving," Obama told King. "But I'm in the car, in the back seat, and I'm, you know, I don't know, looking at my iPad or something. And suddenly we stop, and I'm like, 'What's goin' on?' There's a red light! There's a car right next to us. Some kids are, you know, eating a burrito or something in the back seat. 'Oh. Back to life!'"
Obama also said it was "disappointing" to see Republicans in Washington not challenging President Donald Trump's baseless allegations that the 2020 election was "rigged." Trump has refused to concede, and fired off another series of tweets Sunday morning about how it was a "rigged election" and claiming he "will win." Media outlets project Biden will win the presidency with 306 Electoral College votes.
Republicans not standing up to Trump has been "par for the course during these four years," Obama said. "They obviously didn't think there was any fraud going on, 'cause they didn't say anything for the first two days," he continued. "But there's damage to this because what happens is that the peaceful transfer of power, the notion that any of us who attain an elected office – whether it's dogcatcher or president – are servants of the people. It's a temporary job."