Obama's Retirement Is Totally Different From Every Other President

March 26th 2017

Nicole Levin

After retiring, some former presidents dedicate their time to apolitical, benevolent causes, such as George W. Bush's return to Texas to take up painting. Then there is former President Barack Obama, who is focusing his retirement on redrawing the battle lines of American democracy.  


The 44th Commander in Chief is honing in on redistricting reform: redrawing political district lines so that they are more representative of the people who live there. 

"Democrats have to be clear on the given population distribution across the country," Obama said in his first post-election news conference, "We have to show up everywhere. We have to work at a grass-roots level, something that's been a running thread in my career." 

To help do this, before leaving office Obama created the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and named former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as its chairman. Earlier Saturday Kelly Ward, former executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was picked to lead the group as an interim Executive Director. 

According to the NDRC website, Republican gerrymandering after the 2010 census put Democrats at a disadvantage. Holder says on the site that "The biggest rigged system in America is gerrymandering." 

To redraw the maps, the NDRC will focus on winning elections that impact redistricting, winning legal battles in state and federal court and sponsoring ballot initiatives. 

"American voters deserve fair maps that represent their diverse communities—and we need a coordinated stragey to make that happen." Holder told Politico, adding "This unprecedented new effort will ensure Democrats have a seat at the table to create fairer maps after 2020." 

As ATTN: reported last month, districts drawn by Republicans in Texas have already been found guilty of gerrymandering, and four of the nine House seats that Democrats picked up in 2016 were from distracts that were redistricted, according to Politico

Up first: The governor's race in Virginia, where Holder rallied support this week to hold on to the governor's seat on the 2017 ballot.