NEW YORK—A statement from America's National Headquarters revealed Thursday that, after just two years heading the Executive Branch, President Barack Obama has been promoted to Senior Vice President of American Affairs.
Obama, whose work on health care reform reportedly caught the eye of the nation's higher-ups, has eagerly accepted the more prestigious new position and will join the 12 other members of the American Affairs division starting Monday. He replaces outgoing SVPAA Tom Coleman, who was promoted in February to Chief Administrative Officer of America's North Atlantic Branch.
Pending final approval from the National Board of Directors, Friday will be Obama's last day as President of the United States.
"Barack is clearly a go-getter and one of our brightest up-and-coming talents," Vice Chairman of America Bill Donaldson was quoted in the statement as saying. "His work in the financial and international sectors shows promise and a capacity for handling some of the more difficult issues this country faces. He is young and this will be a lot of responsibility for him, but we're excited to bring him to headquarters and watch him grow."
Sources close to the White House said the president was offered the position during a call last Wednesday from Associate Director of National Operations Dave Lennox. According to aides, Obama "jumped at the opportunity," believing he had accomplished all he could in his role as chief liaison between the national office and Congress.
Obama will be the second- youngest Senior Vice President of American Affairs in the country's history, the youngest being current General Manager of the United States Mark D'Angelo.
"When you become president, you always hope that something might open up at National before your term is out," said Obama, who as SVPAA will now receive matching 401(k) contributions, free access to the executive gym, and an annual bonus that includes a percentage of the GDP. "So when that call from the ADNO finally came, I was really excited. The fact that he actually took time out of his busy schedule to call me personally was a huge thrill."
"Dave said to me, 'Barack, how would you like to come to New York and work with the big boys?'" Obama continued. "And believe me, when Dave Lennox asks you to do something, you don't say no."
In his capacity as SVPAA, Obama will be the co-leader of a four-person team that reports directly to President of American Affairs Peter McNaughton and U.S. Co-Chair Helen Kristiniak. According to the National Headquarters website, Obama's job will primarily involve "facilitating real-time communications between commercial and residential sectors within the United States while working to invigorate foreign and domestic revenue streams through the development of more efficiently monetized diplomatic models."
Though the job consists of fewer menial tasks and more vacation time, beltway insiders said the position's main benefit is that it opens up a lot of doors for the president, who could step into Max Donnelly's shoes as Assistant Co-Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Coordinating Committee within the next 10 years.
"Some have called this a lateral move, but I couldn't disagree more," Andrew Sullivan wrote in The Atlantic. "All of Obama's heroes were SVPAAs at one point or another: Jeff Lawrence, Amy DeMuth, Thomas Jefferson, Dave McCormick, just to name a few."
"And it's no secret he's always had his eye on the Chief Intercontinental Adviser to the Director of U.S. and Global Affairs job," Sullivan added. "You can't make it that far staying in Washington. Just ask Kent Leventhal."
According to sources with knowledge of the hiring process, the decision to promote Obama came from the top. Looking to groom diverse new talents at the national level, Chief Executive Officer Ben Glick and Chairman of the Board Myron Bell reportedly narrowed the list of potential applicants to three names: Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Bob Chang.
Chancellor of America Molly Lipman, whom Obama has never directly spoken to, made the final decision.
"I am happy that Barack Obama has decided to take the position of Senior Vice President of American Affairs," Lipman said through a spokesperson. "As for who will take over as President of the United States, we are keeping our options open. The talent pool available through the traditional line of succession is limited, so we may be forced to bring in somebody from the outside."