What will President Obama do after Donald Trump gets the White House keys?

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, said in 1829: "There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president."

Barack Hussein Obama, who will leave the White House as a relatively young 55-year-old with acres of opportunity open in front of him, will be hoping to disprove the quip.

Before him, George "Dubya" Bush became a painter, Bill Clinton made tens of millions in speaking fees while Teddy Roosevelt sacked it all off and went straight on a year-long African safari.

Sadly the safari option is off the cards as the current first family are staying in Washington in a plush $6 million (£4.8m) mansion until daughter Sasha finishes high school.

Obama laughs during a rally
The man himself joking during a Hillary Clinton rally this year (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Before politics Obama was both a law professor and a community organiser on Chicago's troubled streets during the 1980s.

It is fitting that the next years are a blank page as he is also an accomplished author who has penned three books.

We looked at things the history-making president could do after he hands over the White House keys to Donald Trump.

Community Work

Obama high-fiving kids (Susan Walsh/AP)
Obama greets children from a Washington primary school in 2012 (Susan Walsh/AP)

Obama told school kids he "really loves to" help people who have been dealt bad hands, hinting at a return to community projects.

According to USA Today, he said: "I'll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before... Helping young people get educations and helping people get jobs and try to bring businesses into neighbourhoods that don't have enough business."

Obama also said a racial justice initiative called My Brother's Keeper, which aims to improve the lives of ethnic minority boys, would "remain a mission for me and for Michelle... for the rest of my life".

Basketball Team Owner

Obama holding a basketball with Kobe Bryant
A fresh-looking Obama with LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (Charles Dharapak/AP)

The noted Chicago Bulls supporter told GQ he would "absolutely" want to be involved in owning an NBA basketball team, adding: "I have fantasised about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be. I think it would be terrific."

Write Books

Obama brandishing a book ( Susan Walsh/AP)
Obama holding a weighty tome (Susan Walsh/AP)

The keen reader said novels "taught me how to be a citizen", adding: "The most important stuff I've learned I think I've learned from novels."

Speaking in a New York Review of Books interview, he added: "It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of greys but there's still truth there to be found... It's possible to connect with someone even though they're very different from you."

Memoirs are exceptionally lucrative, too, with Bill Clinton recording an enormous $15 million advance for his autobiography My Life.

Obama has already penned three: The Audacity Of Hope, Dreams From My Father and one for children called Of Thee I Sing.


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It's already a job in itself.

Former presidents get paid some $200,000 (£160,000) per year plus health benefits - and they get constant secret service protection.

They also get staff, office space and expenses for life, followed by a big state funeral when they check out.

Supreme Court Justice

Marine One helicopter in Washington
Marine One lands with the Obama family on board (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

A long shot as he has seemed to pour cold water over this suggestion, but the qualified lawyer more than has the ability.

In a GQ interview, he said: "I don't have the temperament to sit in relative solitude and just opine and write from the bench. I want to be in the action a little bit more."

In the same piece, he was asked what he would miss most about holding the most powerful office in the world.

He responded: "The clear answer would be Air Force One.

"But it may be Marine One, because even post-presidency, I may be able to round up a private plane sometime - but it's tough not to have your helicopter waiting for you."

Tough life indeed.

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