Barack Obama is returning to the national scene to help out Democrats.
Starting in the Fall you are going to be seeing more of former President Barack Obama. Obama has been taking it easy and staying busy traveling and spending time with his family. He has stayed out of the limelight since finishing his term as President. The former President will be helping Democrats to rebuild the party.
Obama left office a very popular president with no scandals. According to the The Hill, his current popularity is a high – 63% as recorded by a Gallup Poll conducted in June. Obama beats out James LaBron, Leo Messi and George Clooney with one of the highest Q scores in the world. Compare this to Trump who currently has a popularity rating of only 40%.
Although Obama is very popular with base Democrat voters (critical for the midterm elections), it is a fine line he must tread lightly. The Hill quoted an aide as saying ‘it is a “delicate dance” that aims to put Obama in the Democratic fray but prevents him from remaining the face of the party.’ Advisors say he will work behind the scenes on such things as fundraising and advising.
In recent months, the former President has been working behind the scenes (although not reported) with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and doing some fundraising for the Democratic National Committee. The Washington Examiner reported that Obama had met with many Democratic elected officials as well as having phone calls with Democratic Chairman Tom Perez.
Obama does not want to become focal point for Trump. The Hill wrote; “He would be the target against which Trump would direct his fury,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “From Trump’s perspective nothing better could happen.”
While some Democrats are reluctant for Obama to return, Democratic strategist David Wade believes that it is a good time for Obama to return. Wade also said, “He has unique convening powers to draw a crowd, energize Democrats, make a closing argument, and then it is up to candidates to close the deal.”
There is no head count yet on how many Democrats have asked Obama to campaign with them. He has committed to campaign for Ralph Northam, the candidate running for governor in Virginia. As the time gets closer, there will probably be others clamoring for the popular former President to help them. Aides have not disclosed how many public appearances Obama will be making.
The Democrats need to raise money. The former President’s ability to raise money as well as his ability to draw crowds should be most welcome to Democrats. They currently lack a leader, and despite the fact that Obama will be taking a low profile, he is still a powerful figure for them.