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Joe Biden will not move into the White House until next year but he is already preparing his first term in office by beginning to put together his core team. According to a senior Tory figure, Mr Biden is contemplating appointing the former president as the Ambassador to the Court of St James’s – America’s UK ambassador.
The source who reportedly has a friend in Mr Biden’s circle told the Sunday Times: “I have heard there is a possibility that Obama could be asked as a thank you.”
But Sharon Manitta, spokesperson for Democrats Abroad UK, said it is unlikely Mr Obama will be appointed given his commitments in the US.
However, she did highlight that in the current climate “anything is possible”.
Ms Manitta said: “We’ve seen in the past five years anything is possible but I just don’t see that that is going to work.”
She explained how both Barack and Michelle Obama have a contract with Netflix and other commitments which are keeping them busy.
Ms Manitta added: “They’re doing a lot of different projects for Netflix and also one thing that a president does when they leave office is they set up a library.”
The Obama Presidential Center is set to be a four-building, 19-acre “working centre for citizenship” in Chicago.
The building is said to include a 235-foot-high “museum tower”, a two-story event space, an athletic centre, a recording studio, a winter garden and sledding hill according to the New York Times.
The project is estimated to cost $500 million (£377 million) and has hit several roadblocks along its path to construction.
Ms Manitta said President Obama is planning to “have it as a training centre for young people for leadership and other things, not just a static collection but lots of activities”.
The library project together with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Mr Obama’s new book tour are all reasons why the former president may not be the next ambassador to the UK according to Ms Manitta.
She added: “I think that’s going to keep him in the US for the time being.
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“Anything is possible but I just don’t see that, for him being an ambassador for any country.
“Who knows these days but I just think there is so much keeping him in the States right now with his commitments that would sort of preclude being an ambassador.”
This might come as a relief to Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has in the past made comments towards President Obama which some MPs called “unacceptable”.
In 2016, when he was the Mayor of London, Mr Johnson made remarks about the Obama administration’s decision to remove a bust of Britain’s wartime Winston Churchill from the Oval office.
He wrote in the Sun: “Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”
At the time, Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames called Mr Johnson’s article “deplorable” and “completely idiotic”.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem previously said the now prime minister’s comments were an “unacceptable smear”.
After Mr Biden was projected to win the election, Mr Johnson congratulated the president-elect on Twitter.
But Tommy Vietor, a former spokesman for President Obama, responded to Mr Johnson’s tweet.
He wrote: “This shapeshifting creep weighs in. We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump but neat Instagram graphic.”
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