April 24, 2017
By Amber Phillips and Juliet Eilperin
Chicago — In his first public appearance (click here) since leaving the White House in January, former president Barack Obama told young leaders here Monday that “special interests dominate the debates in Washington” and that getting involved in their communities is the best antidote to the divisiveness dominating the country's politics.
Obama, who has kept a relatively low public profile since the end of his second term, did not mention President Trump once during the 90-minute event at the University of Chicago, but said he was determined to galvanize younger Americans to do more politically because they were the ones best positioned to bridge the current political divide.
“The single most important thing I can do is to help in any way prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world,” said Obama, who sat onstage, wearing a black suit, white button-down shirt and no tie, with a half-dozen Chicago-area activists in their teens and 20s, as dozens more student leaders watched on....