What will Obama spend his retirement doing?
He had expected a comfortable retirement. But November 8 put pay to that.
President Barack Obama, who leaves the White House on January 20, believed he was in line for a simple handover, followed by two weeks of sleeping, a holiday with Michelle, and multiple games of golf.
“I think that if Hillary Clinton had won the election then I’d just turn over the keys,” he said, in an interview with The New Yorker published at the end of November.
“We’d make sure the briefing books were in order and out we go.”
But Donald Trump has changed all that.
Mr Obama’s next few years will be far more challenging that he had imagined – following his direct predecessor George W Bush into quiet retreat with his watercolours will not be an option.
The outgoing president announced before the election that he would remain in Washington, until his youngest daughter Sasha finishes school in 2019. The Obamas will live in the Kalorama neighborhood, in a Tudor-style home rented from Bill Clinton’s former press secretary, and will become the first First Family to remain in the capital since Woodrow Wilson was president.
Yet where he was once expected to take a quiet, “elder statesman” role, he is now likely to be far more involved than he had imagined – given both Mr Trump’s polemic policy agenda, and the flailing Democrat party left after Mrs Clinton’s defeat.
"As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, or go to core questions about our values and ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I'll examine it when it comes," said Mr Obama.
He said he wanted to give Mr Trump the chance to pursue his agenda"without somebody popping off" at every turn. But he suggested there may be limits to his silence.
He has also said he wants to help nurture the next generation of Democrat leaders.
“I think now I have some responsibility to at least offer my counsel to those who will continue to be elected officials about how the DNC can help rebuild, how state parties and progressive organisations can work together,” he said.
At 55, Mr Obama is one of the younger former presidents in US history – only Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant and Bill Clinton were his junior.
He is also one of the more popular.
So the Hawaii-born president has always intended to be active in his retirement – despite revenue from his book sales, plus his $203,700 (£162,798) annual pension, meaning that he can well afford not to work.
He will add to his coffers through his memoirs - publishers have described his presidential memoirs as the most hotly-anticipated ever, with advances estimated between $25 and $45 million.
On the speaking circuit, he can command unrivalled sums - George W. Bush earns between $100,000 and $175,000 per appearance, while Mr Clinton can earn $225,000. Mr Obama will outshine them both.
He is unlikely, however, to spend his time focused on how to boost his bank balance.
Mr Obama began his political career as a community activist on the South Side of Chicago; his life after the White House is expected to see a return to his roots.
“I’ll be 55 when I leave,”he told The New Yorker, knocking on a wooden end table. “Assuming that I get a couple more decades of good health, at least, then I think both Michelle and I are interested in creating platforms that train, empower, network, boost the next generation of leadership .
“And I think that, whatever shape my presidential center takes, I’m less interested in a building and campaign posters and Michelle’s dresses, although I think it’s fair to say that Michelle’s dresses will be the biggest draw by a huge margin.
“But what we’ll be most interested in is programming that helps the next Michelle Obama or the next Barack Obama, who right now is sitting out there and has no idea how to make their ideals live, isn’t quite sure what to do - to give them resources and ways to think about social change.”
In 2014, in the aftermath of the killing of Trayvon Martin, Mr Obama founded My Brother’s Keeper – an initiative which creates a mentoring system for young black men. Mr Obama took on his own group of mentees, mostly black and Hispanic high school students from the Washington area. He is expected to increase his involvement with the organisation when he leaves the White House.
“The central principal is: for so many of our boys, it is important to have an adult who is taking an interest in them,” he once explained.
“Who tells them you are worth something, you are important.”
He is also likely to step up his work with Organizing for Action, a grass roots effort formed from the president’s 2012 re-election team, which focuses on such matters as climate change and immigration reform.
He has ruled out serving on the Supreme Court – one of the wilder rumours circulating – but has repeatedly stated how much he enjoys law, and a return to teaching – like Condoleezza Rice - may well be a possibility.
"I love the law, intellectually,” he said. “I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments.
"I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students."
Obvious choices are Columbia, where he was an undergraduate political science major, Harvard where he graduated from law school, or the University of Chicago where he taught previously. Columbia is seen as the front runner after the college's president said at the 2015 convocation he was looking forward to"welcoming back our most famous alumnus in 2017."
He’s also speculated about running an NBA basketball team; using his accumulated wealth to fund his sporting passion.
"I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be,” he said. “I think it’d be terrific."
But, he told Valerie Jarrett, his long-time mentor, the one thing he does not wish is that he could remain in the White House.
“I said no, because, look, at some point you lose touch,” he recounted. “By being in this room. At some point, you get worn down. At some point, you start getting into bad habits.
“I told her, ‘We’re playing on house money here. We weren’t supposed to be here. For us to have had this opportunity and to be able to make this much change, as much as we wish that we could have gotten everything done, it’s remarkable.’ ”
This article was written by Harriet Alexander from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.