Billionaire Legacy Builders: Wealth and Imagination in the Fight to Persuade Americans that President Obama Has Been Good for Us

The president has begun raising money for his library and foundation, which will be located in Chicago and plans to operate on a grand scale. Obama hopes to avoid the kind of scandals in which President Clinton’s foundation is mired, and he also hopes his Hollywood friends will be able to embellish a legacy that looks to be mixed at best.

Get ready America. See an entire wing devoted to how President Barack Obama single-handedly killed Osama bin Laden and an even larger wing showing how he provided health care for all Americans. Other exhibits will likely demonstrate how he disarmed Iran, battled Wall Street, and saved the economy from capitalism, along with many other heroic, superhuman, death-defying, unprecedented feats. And he did it all while dealing with snarling Republicans in Congress and Tea Party activists bent on impeding the progress Americans needed, whether they knew it or not. Coming sometime in the next decade, it’s the Obama Presidential Library and Museum that will showcase that history, and with it, a global foundation to address world concerns. The president and his supporters have been envisioning this for a while.

A private dinner in February at the White House did not come to light in the pages of the New York Times until August. A group of one-percenters whom Obama and his followers rhetorically loathe in public speeches sat down to talk secretly about Obama’s post-presidency—how history remembers him and what projects he will engage in. The goal is to raise $1 billion for the presidential library and foundation. That is about twice the amount raised for the George W. Bush library and related programs.

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