August 22, 2017

Barack Obama waves goodbye as he boards a Marine helicopter on Jan. 20. (Evan Vucci/AP)</p>

Former president Barack Obama is back in circuit. He is on a two-day visit to Chicago, where he met privately with at-risk young men on the South Side yesterday afternoon to talk about gang violence, jobs skills and employment.

 The Chicago Tribune reports that  “The meeting was with participants in a program created by Obama’s longtime friend and former education secretary, Arne Duncan — and signified a return to Obama’s roots as a community organizer 30 years ago,”

At 11 a.m., the 55-year-old former president will speak at the University of Chicago to a group of about 300 students in what’s being billed as a “Conversation on Civic Engagement.” He will moderate an hour-long discussion with half a dozen young leaders from Chicago-area colleges and universities.

According to reports by the media, this is the first in a series of planned public events for Obama in the U.S. and Europe. According to the reports,  “Aides have said that Mr. Obama does not intend to use his platform to directly challenge President Trump, despite his successor’s aggressive efforts to reverse many of Mr. Obama’s legacy-making accomplishments.  But the audience will be free to ask whatever they want, and they might choose to press the former president on topics like immigration, climate change or racial justice — all areas where anything Mr. Obama says is likely to be interpreted as a critique of Mr. Trump.”

That will be a very clever way of replying to Mr Trump without appearing to go out of his way to criticize the current president and his policies.

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