When you think of ethics in government, who do you think of? No one coming to mind? How about former president Barack Obama? Well, that’s what one college is officially saying.
You got that right. The University of Illinois will be doling out a “prestigious” ethics in government award to Obama -- the former president that claims he had no scandals as the Commander-in-Chief.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
Obama will come to the Urbana-Champaign campus Sept. 7 to accept the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government, an annual honor given by the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs to recognize “public officials who have made significant contributions to the understanding and practice of ethical behavior in public service.”
The award is named for late Illinois Sen. Paul Douglas [D] and has been given out since 1994. Obama is the 28th honoree.
If you look at the list of people who have received the award, it’s actually a surprisingly mixed bag, with former Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O’Connor (2008) and John Paul Stevens (2014) and the late Sen. John McCain (D-Ariz.) (2000) as recipients.
Other recipients of the award include former Federal Reserve chairs under former presidents George W. Bush and Obama, respectively, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellin (2017), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (2015) and disgraced former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer (2004).
Spokeswoman for Obama, Katie Hill, released a statement saying that Obama will attend and accept the award, among other things that make the former president seem “ethical.”
The Tribute reported on the statement:
“He will echo his call to reject the rising strain of authoritarian politics and policies,” Hill said in a statement. “And he will preview arguments he’ll make this fall, specifically that Americans must not fall victim to our own apathy by refusing to do the most fundamental thing demanded of us as citizens: vote.
“President Obama believes the solution to our long-term challenges can be best addressed when we all fully participate in our democracy. His post-presidency is the next chapter in the cause of his life – bringing people together to change the world for the better.”
We’re constantly told that Obama wants to make the world a better place. If that’s the case, why was the world in general worse off during his tenure?
Obama will speak at the college on Friday after accepting the award.