Both Barack and Michelle Obama are Stepping into the 2020 Election and Trump’s Going to Hate It
It is near impossible to articulate how much the left has missed these two over the last four years. Though we moaned a great deal about his “centrism” and naivety in some policy areas, his fundamental decency was never questioned, nor taken for granted. It is only now that we realize how critical it was to American and world stability. This country is teetering on the brink of a global depression with an out of control pandemic.
Well, the Obamas are ready to team up with the Bidens to – again – pick up after the Republicans’ economic crater, and – again – deal with a dangerous virus.
So the Obamas are back with a two-pronged strategy to maximize the strengths of the most powerful team in American politics.
The Guardian says that Barack Obama has to this point “tipped his toes” into the campaign, but is now ready to dive.
Interviews with about a dozen Democratic strategists, officials and people close to Obama indicated members of the party want the popular former president to use his powerful online presence and focus on rallying key Democrat constituencies that are critical to a Biden victory.
Obama is regarded as one of the most popular figures in American politics and a huge asset within the Democratic party. He left the White House with a near-60% approval rating. His endorsement for any candidate is the political campaign equivalent of an oilman and hitting a gusher.
I want Trump to have to hear, over and over, that Obama left the White House with a “near 60% approval rating,” because Trump hasn’t spent one day over 50% and nothing gets under his skin like underperforming compared to Obama.
“You rarely have a former president that is more popular than the now-sort-of-nominee,” Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher said. “Barack Obama is the most popular political figure in America right now.”
Yes, this is an almost unprecedented situation. Just four years after leaving the White House, the most popular person in the country – and the second most popular – are about to get involved, with some anger about how they’ve been treated.
Speaking of the second most popular person in American, Michelle Obama is doing her thing at a more practical level. Getting the actual votes, rather than the message, out. According to the Washington Post:
On Thursday, Michelle Obama took her first concrete step toward being a factor in the 2020 election. Her nonpartisan voting initiative, When We All Vote, which she founded months before the 2018 midterms, announced a coalition of 31 mayors across the country who will be brainstorming and sharing lessons and practices about how to increase voter registration and civic engagement.
“This current crisis is a clear reminder of how critical it is to have competent leadership at all levels of government,” she said in a recent Zoom call with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, announcing the launch of the program, called Civic Cities. “Voting is bigger than any one party, any one issue, any one candidate, any one election,” she added. “The point is that no matter what party, what ideology, we want everyone to participate. We need your voices in this with us.”
She would never consider it (we don’t think), but the one person who could ensure a Joe Biden victory would be Michelle Obama. Biden could name her as the VP selection and it would be a done deal. It would be a “good thing” in the sense that we can’t afford to lose. It would be a bad thing to preserve the whole “royal-political” dynasty thing in the country. So Michelle Obama has chosen to do the “democracy thing” and get people voting.
“This pandemic will likely have a significant impact on the November election and on how voters across the country cast their ballots,” said Obama, who did not turn on her video on the Zoom call, but used a photo of herself in a purple suit as her avatar. “Already in state and local elections, we’ve seen voters forced to choose between protecting their health and making their voices heard. And that’s absolutely not acceptable.” The big thing to keep an eye on, she said, was ensuring that the health and economic crisis of the pandemic “doesn’t turn into a crisis of democracy, too.”
I cannot imagine a more potent and needed message, nor a more capable and needed team to deliver it.
The Obamas are back, they’re surely angry, they’re not playing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
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