President Obama will be one of the two places on that day.
Either he’ll be at his own ticker-tape parade, celebrating his inauguration the day before*, or he’ll be on a plane back to Chicago (presumably). There’s already some speculation about what Obama might do in the former scenario, but my previous predictions notwithstanding. With Romney looking more and more like the nominee, I’m interested in what he does in the latter.
A 1-term Obama Presidency, that great, shining hope of the GOP, makes for a scenario that hasn’t happened in a long while: a young, non-term limited ex-President.
George W. Bush, Clinton and Reagan were all term limited when they left office – they had no more worlds left to conquer. Reagan of course had health issues, and both Clinton and Bush have taken the “elder statesman” route, doing speaking engagements, charity work, etc. The last two one-term Presidents were 69 and 57 when they left office, and both lost BADLY to their challengers.
Obama, on the other hand, will be 51 years old on January 21st. If he loses, it will almost certainly be in a tight, nasty race, with Democrats feeling like the GOP screwed Obama. That makes him far more politically viable than any modern 1st term-er.
Personally, I would love to see him run for a seat in Congress, a la John Quincy Adams, though far more likely he’d wait and hope that the Romney Presidency crashes and burns and he can make a viable run in 2016. Either way, it’s unlikely he’ll just exit stage left on the 21st.
*: Found out something interesting researching this article – because the official inauguration day, the 20th, occurs on a Sunday, whoever wins will likely do a private Oath of Office on the 20th, then the full parade/ceremony on the 21st. If it’s Obama, count on right-wing conspiracies that claim for some legal reason neither Oath of Office counts and he’s not really President. If it’s Romney, count on far-leftists arguing that moving the ceremony from Sunday to Monday for religious reasons is a violation of Church and State.