After a private meeting with billionaire investor Warren Buffett in Omaha, Neb., former President Barack Obama arrived in California’s Silicon Valley on Sunday for meetings with tech leaders.
There were no public comments made by either Obama or the leaders he met with, as at least one news account dubbed the meetings part of the “shadow presidency.”
Former President Barack Obama is in the Bay Area this morning and keeping a low-profile. https://t.co/lPPhsHg5bd
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) March 13, 2017
Even prior to the end of Obama’s presidency, there were expectations that Obama would be a frequent visitor to the region.
“I would be surprised if he did not spend a significant amount of his post-presidency time and effort connecting the resources and ideas and capabilities that he has learned about in Silicon Valley with the kinds of causes that he will choose,” said Reid Hoffman, executive chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn.
However, since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Obama is reported to be at the center of the effort to oppose Trump’s presidency.
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has accused Obama and the Democratic Party of “attempting to sabotage the Trump presidency and do everything they can to either render it meaningless and ineffective or to get him impeached or force him to resign.”
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., added to that notion last week when he disparaged Obama’s motives for remaining in Washington after his presidency.
“President Obama himself said he was going to stay in Washington until his daughter graduated. I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else, because he is only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda. It just doesn’t make sense,” Kelly said last week.
Silicon Valley appears to be an obvious place to organize a resistance, as it has already been a stronghold of opposition to Trump’s temporary ban on immigration.
“… you’ve already seen leaders in the technology industry, from New York and San Francisco … really standing up for the issues they believe in,” said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC, a coalition of tech startups and companies that sent a letter to Trump opposing his immigration order. “And I think that’s really notable. You just haven’t seen business leaders from other industries reacting the same way.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday noted that resistance from Obama-era employees is something with which the Trump White House must cope.
“I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office, that there are people who stay in government who are affiliated with and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer said.
He continued, “I don’t think it should come as any surprise that there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration and may have believed in that agenda and want to continue to seek it.”
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