Here’s a list of some of the hip things Barack Obama has done while serving as President of the United States of America: He serenaded his daughter on her 18th birthday accompanied on vocals by Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae; he slow-jammed the news with The Roots and Jimmy Fallon; he had Keegan Michael Key reprise his role as “Luther,” the President’s anger translator, at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner; in his final years in office, he began releasing an annual summer playlist full of a mix of classic jams (The Temptations, Nina Simone) and new and indie finds (Chance the Rapper, Okkervil River); the list goes on. Regardless of your feelings about the man’s politics or leadership, any assessment of his time in office would be dishonest if it didn’t at least admit that Obama made America cool again.
Of course, as he winds down the days until he leaves office, there will be other opportunities for him. While the early indications are that, given the extremely sharp contrast in tone, policy, and agenda between himself and the person who will be sworn in as his successor, he intends to remain in some sort of progressive leadership role, one tech company has an offer that might be tempting for America’s hippest President. Spotify posted a job listing for “President of Playlists,” a position that, while ostensibly open to all applicants, comes with a very particular set of responsibilities and requires an even more exacting resumé.
The position, which claims that it was listed because “as an organization, we are full of hope, and always open to change,” seeks someone to “provide world-class leadership to our playlist editors and supporting staff,” and the rest of the ad indicates what “world-class” means. They want someone who can come up with playlist ideas for “shooting hoops with your friends” or warming up as you prepare to give an address “about health care legislation that bears your name.” There’ll be daily briefings–obviously–about the data and performance of the playlists, and the ideal candidate will be prepared to celebrate the diversity of those lists.
As for qualifications, well, this one requires “experience in programming playlists at a federal level,” the ability to speak passionately (“Let us be clear, you should be nothing short of one of the greatest speakers of all time”), and–critically, “at least eight years experience running a highly-regarded nation” and a Nobel Peace Prize.
All of this is cute, for sure, and it does speak to how in-demand Obama will be in his post-Presidency. There isn’t exactly a precedent for a U.S. President leaving office the way that Obama is about to: Clinton and Bush were young when they left office, but neither of them had particularly high approval ratings or the sort of cultural caché that Obama enjoys. (There were rumors that Clinton might end up running a movie studio after leaving office, but they didn’t exactly play out.) Obama’s third act is just beginning, and while Spotify seems an unlikely destination for the guy, there probably aren’t many jobs in the private sector for which he wouldn’t be the most in-demand candidate in the world.