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What will Barack Obama do next after leaving the White House?

Already a best-selling author and a qualified lawyer Barack Obama has many potential career options ahead, and is still only 55.

Barack Obama is one of the youngest ex-presidents ever. Aged just 55 he has a potentially long retirement ahead.

So how will the former president now spend his days and what will he do next?

Here are some options to fill his time:

LIKELY
:: Author
Mr Obama is already a best-selling author. Dreams From My Father and Audacity of Hope, published in 2004 and 2006, both topped best-seller lists.

Both he and his wife Michelle will be offered significant sums for their memoirs of their time in the White House. Bill Clinton received a $15m advance for his autobiography, while George W Bush was paid $7m for his.

Expect both Obamas to have books out before long - perhaps even in time for next Christmas.

:: Community Work
Barack and Michelle Obama worked on community projects before they went to the White House and will do so again afterwards.

They are planning to build a presidential centre based in Chicago’s South Side which aims to inspire future leaders.

The Obamas have also asked for ideas about what else could be included in the centre.

The former first lady said: "Send us your ideas, your hopes, your beliefs about what we can achieve together.

"Tell us about the young leaders and companies and organisations that inspire you. This will be your presidential centre just as much as it is ours."

:: Academic
Many years before he reached the White House, Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.

A return to academia is unquestionably an option for the former president in retirement and he will probably take part in guest lectures and seminars.

However he is unlikely to want to spend too much time marking exam papers.

:: Guest Speaker
This is almost a given for a famed orator like Obama. He could expect to received hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech.

He will no doubt get plenty of offers and, while he will be choosy, he will certainly accept some.

:: Humanitarian / Statesman
As a former president Barack Obama has star power - and star power attracts big names and makes big money.

Former presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton raised millions for the relief effort following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, while Jimmy Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on diplomacy after he left office.

Mr Obama will likely want to make his mark either in the humanitarian or diplomatic realms - possibly both.

:: Golf
During his eight years as president Barack Obama played more than 300 rounds of golf and he will now have plenty of time to hit the fairways.

He is a fairly good golfer but is unlikely ever to challenge the likes of Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods.

Mr Obama will probably spend a significant amount of time with his 3-iron and sand wedge, but he probably won’t be spotted at any of President Trump’s courses anytime soon.

:: Selfie-taker-in-chief
As a former president Barack Obama will find himself in serious selfie-demand.

Both Bill Clinton and George W Bush have remarked that posing for snaps with adoring fans is now a key part of a former president’s role.

Expect regular social media appearance on random users’ accounts.

:: Hang out with Joe Biden
This is a definite.

A bromance like theirs won’t end just because they are changing jobs.

NOT SO LIKELY
:: Senator
Barack Obama has not achieved all he wants to in politics. He is now constitutionally barred from being president again but there’s nothing to stop him from going back to the Senate or even running to be a state governor.

He wouldn’t have as much power or responsibility but imagine the influence a former president would have.

:: Journalist
Mr Obama has decried the proliferation of fake news. Perhaps he will try to do something about it by becoming a journalist.

He would get some amazing scoops (who wouldn’t want to speak to a former president?).

But Mr Obama has always had an uneasy relationship with journalists and he is unlikely to want to become one.

:: Supreme Court Justice
Barack Obama is a qualified lawyer and there is a vacancy for a justice of the Supreme Court.

There’s also a precedent - former president William Howard Taft later served as chief justice.

But for Mr Obama to become Justice Obama (at least in the near future), Donald Trump would need to nominate him and the Republican Senate would need to approve the appointment. Neither of which is happening anytime soon.

:: Basketball Team Owner
Barack Obama loves basketball and, when his book deals come through, he will be very rich. So could he buy a basketball team?

He might like to but he would need close to half a billion dollars to buy even a half decent team - and even a former president might struggle to raise that much.

:: First Husband
This depends entirely on Michelle Obama. The outgoing first lady has repeatedly denied that she is interested in running for office herself.

But if she represents the Democrats’ best chance of beating Donald Trump in 2020 could she perhaps be tempted to reconsider?

Just hours after leaving the White House Mrs Obama tweeted a hint that she might be back, posting: "After an extraordinary 8 years, I’ll be taking a little break.

"Will be back before you know it to work with you on the issues we care about."

:: Star of The Apprentice
Could a job swap with Donald Trump be on the cards? Mr Trump has already taken aim at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has taken over as star of The Apprentice for now.

Barack Obama has created a lot of jobs and is currently available. But Mr Trump is still named as an executive producer on the show and is not likely to tell his political rival ‘You’re Hired!’

:: Skydiver
So far at least Barack Obama has shown no real interest in high-octane sports but this one also has precedent.

Since leaving the White House former president George Bush Senior has done a number of skydives - most recently on his 90th birthday.

Perhaps Mr Obama will follow his lead - or maybe he will try bungee jumping instead.

:: Nothing
Maybe Barack Obama will simply choose to do nothing.

Perhaps eight years of pressure, hassle and criticism will persuade him to sit at home, watch daytime TV and vanish in to obscurity.

This is, perhaps, the least likely of all.

Jimiraire

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