WASHINGTON — Two post-presidential Barack Obamas emerged this week.
The first was the civic-minded one, seated on a stage in Chicago, where he talked about the importance of community organizing and told a student audience that he had succeeded in politics because people believed “my values were not so different from theirs.”
The other was the one set to cash a $400,000 check from Wall Street — the same amount as his yearly salary during his time in the White House — when he delivers a speech in September at a health care conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald, a trading and investment firm.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama’s spokesman defended the former president’s coming speech, saying Mr. Obama decided to give it because health care changes were important to him. The spokesman, Eric Schultz, noted that Cantor Fitzgerald is a Wall Street firm but pointed out in a statement that as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama raised money from Wall Street and went on to aggressively regulate it.
Mr. Obama will spend most of his post-presidency, Mr. Schultz said, “training and elevating a new generation of political leaders in America.”