Barack Obama set to officially re-enter political sphere

As former President Barack Obama basks in a post-presidency glow amplified by his polarizing successor, the 44th U.S. commander in chief is returning to the political fray.

Obama will use his considerable popularity to headline a closed-door fundraiser in Washington D.C. on Thursday for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

It's not exactly the great political comeback some in Obama's fractured party had hoped for, but according to chair Tom Perez, he's looking to "build the bench" for the party by convincing donors to invest in state-level races.

RELATED: Everywhere the Obamas have traveled since leaving the White House

Where Obamas Have Traveled Post-White House
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Where Obamas Have Traveled Post-White House

After eight years in office, the Obamas headed off on a well-deserved break in January.


The first stop (after a very brief stint in Palm Springs) was Necker Island.


This 72-acre island — located in the British Virgin Islands — is owned by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.


It's one of the most exclusive places to stay in the world.


It can sleep a maximum of 34 guests.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

An individual room on the island starts at $4,280 a night, for a week minimum.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
The entire island can also be rented for $78,000 a day.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Obama has been enjoying activities since he's been away. On his blog, Branson shared photos of the former US president kitesurfing off nearby Moskito Island.


According to Branson, this was the first time Obama had kite-surfed since his time in office.


Branson wrote on his blog that he challenged Obama to a competition to see who could learn how to kite-surf and foil board more quickly.


Branson said that inviting the Obamas to his island was "a huge honor," the Associated Press reported.


Source: Associated Press

Branson admitted that Obama won the challenge, managing to kite-surf 100 meters on his board.


After a quick pit stop in San Jose, California to meet some tech executives, Obama headed to his home state of Hawaii to play a round of golf at Mid Pacific Country Golf Club. He was later spotted dining at laid-back surf-and-turf restaurant Buzz's Lanikai in Kailua.

Facebook/Mid-Pacific Country Club

Source: Star Advertiser and Time 

The Brando is named after the late Marlon Brando, who bought the island in 1967.


It was then transformed into a luxury resort in 2014.


The resort has 35 villas on a white-sand beach. A one-bedroom villa costs north of $2,500 per night in the low season and more than $3,800 in the high season.

The Brando

The villas have between one and three bedrooms; each has its own plunge pool.


Activities are a big part of the Polynesian experience. Local news station TNTV published photos of Michelle Obama paddle boarding after she joined her husband in French Polynesia.

Besides enjoying the water activities, the former president is rumored to have been working on his memoirs during their stay at The Brando, according to the Telegraph.


Source: The Telegraph


The Obamas then joined Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, and Oprah Winfrey aboard David Geffen's "Rising Sun" yacht off the Island of Moorea in the South Pacific. Obama spent nearly a month in French Polynesia.

In May, the Obamas headed to Italy, beginning with a brief stop in Milan, where Barack Obama delivered a sold-out speech at the Food Innovation Summit.

Source: The Times


The couple went on to Tuscany for a six-day vacation, staying at Borgo Finocchieto, a restored 14th-century village that is now a private hotel.

Facebook/Borgo Finocchieto

Source: Business Insider

The property is owned by John Phillips, an American who served as US Ambassador to Italy under the Obama administration from 2013 to early 2017. Phillips bought the abandoned village and began renovations in 2001.

Facebook/Borgo Finocchieto
While vacationing in Tuscany, Michelle Obama was spotted exploring the nearby town of Montalcino.

Barack was also pictured playing golf at the Castiglion del Bosco course, a 15-minute drive away from Phillips' property.

Source: Daily Mail

The couple also managed to sample some of Italy's best food, cooked by world-renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura at an event hosted by John Phillips.

 Source: Huffington Post

Since their Italian vacation, President Obama has been traveling around Europe on business for the Obama Foundation, Time reported. He was also seen golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland.

This June, the Obama family is reportedly staying at the $2,500-a-night Four Seasons hotel in Bali, Indonesia.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan/Trip Advisor

Source: Daily Mail

The whole family was spotted whitewater rafting in the Ayung River.

Later, they visited the Tirta Empul temple, which is famed for its holy water. Michelle, Malia, and Sasha donned yellow sarongs for the visit.

Source: Daily Mail


The NDRC's goal is to help redistrict areas in a way favoring Democrats' chances of winning more electoral votes.

It's unclear how much cash Obama's appearance will bring in but, as Perez says, "that bully pulpit still very much rests with him."

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