Obama takes notes from Michelle Obama's time as first lady for political plans post-presidency

Former President Barack Obama seems to be enjoying his time since leaving the White House, but Hillary Clinton's loss has left the Democratic Party and progressives in general without a leader -- putting closer scrutiny on what role the popular former president will play in the future of American politics.

While only the closest members of Obama's inner circle understand what such a return to politics will look like, some say he is taking notes from his wife, Michelle Obama.

According to Vox, which interviewed six current and former Obama aides, the former president plans to take relatively neutral political steps moving forward. He'll channel his wife's approach to the role of first lady as his model, focusing primarily on nonpartisan solutions to America's issues.

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Most former presidents in recent history have transitioned from one of the most political positions in the world into post-political role. Bill Clinton and both Bushes stepped out of the limelight and quietly focused on relatively noncontroversial charitable efforts. They also typically refrain from speaking ill of their successors, regardless of party -- a favor that is typically returned.

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Recent reports suggest that Obama directed his administration to be as helpful as possible in aiding then president-elect Trump and his team with the transition to help ensure a smooth transfer of power.

Obama stayed relatively quiet even when Trump claimed he had Trump Tower wiretapped during the 2016 campaign, having an aide release a statement, but otherwise removing himself from the political fray.

But as the former president begins to wield his post-presidential influence to help solve problems facing the nation and the world, he is expected to lean on techniques Michelle used during her time as first lady.

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Michelle Obama was typically popular, but faced her fair share of critics when she became first lady. Over the years, she worked to improve education for girls and generate nutrition programs. She developed her initiatives without billions in federal funding and without having to win a Senate majority.

But not everyone believes Obama's approach will be non-political.

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"Obama's trying to have it both ways — to appear presidential and nonpartisan, and at the same time agitating the grassroots level," former Trump adviser Roger Stone said in an interview, according to Vox. "What I think Obama is doing is publicly trying to appear above the fray while quietly working behind the scenes."

Former Attorney General Eric Holder recently told POLITICO that the former president is almost ready for his comeback. The pair have been working together to fundraise and work with state legislators.

"It's coming. He's coming," Holder said about Obama's potential return to politics. "And he's ready to roll."

In the coming months, Holder added that we can expect to see the former president more, saying Obama will be a "more visible part of the effort."