Nov 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Obama to push "inclusive capitalism" at 15th reunion weekend


The future campus. Rendering: Obama Presidential Center

Former President Obama on Friday will issue a call to action on "inclusive capitalism" as he kicks off a reunion weekend in Chicago that will reunite 2,500+ Obama alumni on the 15th anniversary of his historic election as America's first Black president.

Why it matters: Saturday will mark 15 years since Obama's 2008 triumph. This is the first formal reunion of administration officials and campaign workers, and comes ahead of the estimated late 2025 opening of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park.

What they're saying: At the Obama Foundation's second-annual Democracy Forum, the former president will call for "a new economic framework that addresses inequality and prepares citizens for the coming changes in how we live and work that reaches a higher purpose beyond material consumption," according to a preview for Axios.

  • "President Obama will assess upcoming global economic crises and deteriorating democratic foundations, and promote the need to bolster active citizenship, redesign social safety nets, and encourage more private investment in the common good," the preview says.
  • "The time has come to confront the greatest challenge of our time, and our sole path to success lies in empowering each other to make a difference in the world."
Current state of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Photo: Obama Presidential Center

Behind the scenes: Reunion attendees will range from Cabinet secretaries to Iowa field organizers, insiders tell me.

  • There'll be some big programs for everyone — plus a couple dozen smaller receptions and parties for every imaginable team, including state campaign staffs (Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, etc.), White House departments (East Wing, Office of Digital Strategy, communications) and Cabinet agencies and departments.

Among the alumni with prominent speaking roles: Kal Penn, Jen Psaki, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Dan Pfeiffer and Alyssa Mastromonaco.

  • Jon Batiste will host a musical performance Saturday night.

Go deeper: Campus plans for Obama Presidential Center ... Construction Blog.

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