Who says government work doesn’t pay? Just like the Clintons who turned their career in politics into a gold mine, the Obamas have accomplished the same payday. Their sweet, sweet deal with Netflix has an additional benefit. The former president and First Lady can now troll President Trump for profit. The two Democrats have a production deal with the online streaming service.
The Obamas have acquired Michael Lewis’ book The Fifth Risk with plans to turn it into a series that shows the inner workings of government. By inner workings, they mean the alleged incompetence of the Trump administration’s early days. Lovely.
The Fifth Risk, which hit shelves on Oct. 2 from W.W. Norton, follows the chaos and mismanagement that ensued in the departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce in the handoff from President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump. Lewis spoke with a number of federal workers from the Obama administration who worked in the Departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce. The previous administration created briefing books for the next staff, but those who showed up on behalf of the new administration were greatly unqualified and far and few between.
One interview in the book is with John MacWilliams, who served as the Energy Department’s first-ever chief risk officer. He conveys his worries that any shortchanging in the department under Trump could lead to a nuclear-weapons accident, a potential conflict with North Korea or Iran, or an attack on the U.S. electrical grid. Any cuts in the Department of Agriculture would impact critical anti-poverty programs like school lunches and food stamps. Meanwhile the Commerce department may not have enough staff to conduct the census properly. Lewis speaks to the unsung heroes and the linchpins of the system and learns what keeps them up at night; those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running.
Well, none of those fears have come to fruition but, hey, there’s a narrative to push here. The whole North Korea thing, in particular, has proven wrong. Trump has been able to establish some kind of relationship with the little Rocket Man – something his predecessor was unable to accomplish. And, it is pretty clear we won’t have to worry about the Trump administration flying pallets of cash to Iran, either. The starving school children? That’s standard for attacking a Republican president.
This is new ground for a former president. The Obamas inked their Netflix deal last May and formed a production company, ironically named Higher Ground Productions. At the time, it was reported that Obama said he’d not use the platform to wage opposition to his successor or conservative outlets like Fox News. That didn’t last long, did it? No doubt this series will be a delicious helping of red meat for those who still swoon for the Obamas.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
Hmm. The first project touted, this series, seems to fly in the face of Obama’s originally stated intentions. Michael Lewis, for example, is rather well-established as an author with some best-sellers that have been turned into movies. The Big Short and Moneyball come to mind as I read Lewis’ name, for example. And, a documentary-style series painting an incoming administration as incompetent is not the way to inspire, if you ask me.
The Obamas took a page from Clinton’s financial grifting playbook and signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, the Obama administration pushed through a pro-Netflix streaming regulation and their deal sure looks like a big ole thank you from the very liberal streaming service.
The Obamas have seen their financial bottom line improve dramatically since his presidency.
A Business Insider report a few months earlier indicated the Obamas are now worth 30 times more than when they entered the White House in 2018. No First Couple has had such a dramatic increase in net worth over such a short period of time with most of those earnings coming from entertainment and publishing industry deals.
It has been suggested Mr. and Mrs. Obama will be worth well north of $100 million dollars by the 2020 Election and as much as a quarter-BILLION by the following decade.
The worst part of this whole exercise, though, is that Barack Obama is establishing a new precedent in the behavior expected of a former president. In the past, the outgoing president would step aside and allow his successor to govern without jumping in and criticizing, at least early in his administration. Some, like both Bushes, stayed out of the way completely. Not a disparaging peep was heard from them. Even Bill Clinton behaved himself when George W. came into office – he even became an adopted member of the Bush family, as disgusting as that was at the time. So, because of Barack Obama’s huge ego and his narcissism, it will now be fair game for say, Donald Trump, to go after his successor when the time comes.
President Trump has corrected so much of the damage done by the dreadfully anti-business policies implemented by the Obama administration that now we have a booming economy with record low unemployment. The stranglehold of over-regulation has been lifted. All minority groups are employed at record levels. Taxes are lower and small business entrepreneurs are able to create new businesses. Consumer confidence is way up and most Americans no longer feel the malaise of the Obama economy. More than anything else, Barack Obama cannot handle President Trump’s successes.
The Obamas aren’t content to just go on the speaking circuit and rake in millions in speaking fees as past presidents have done. Barack Obama was a celebrity president. Now he and his wife think they are movie and documentary producers. They’ve bought into their own hype.