November 30, 2023
Obama helps Democrats ahead of US elections

Obama helps Democrats ahead of US elections

Less than two weeks before the US midterm elections, former President Barack Obama came to the rescue of the Democratic Party last Friday. The current occupant of the White House, Democrat Joe Biden, Obama (2009-2017) appears everywhere in person and in his party’s campaign videos.

On Friday, the two presidents were at the same time, in two different corners of the country, in this case two key states for the Democratic campaign: Biden in Pennsylvania (northeast) and Obama in Georgia (south). Both espoused the same idea in their speeches: saving American democracy by stopping the Republican Party, the party of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021).

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“If they win, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Obama said of conservatives, savoring the cheers of the Atlanta crowd. “I want you to get off the couch and vote! Put down your phones, leave TikTok and vote!”

The former president stayed away from the political arena to devote himself to documentaries, publications and philanthropy. However, it has made a remarkable comeback and is holding a series of rallies: after Georgia, this Saturday in Michigan and Wisconsin, Tuesday in Nevada and then in Pennsylvania.

Current polls predict Democrats will retain unsecured control of the Senate but lose the House of Representatives to the Republican opposition. Recent polls of conservative right-wing candidates, including Trump’s staunchest supporters, fear bigger-than-expected losses in the White House. Even a Senate defeat would put both chambers under Republican control.

Democratic bubble

Obama has reason to be cautious: His party suffered a crushing defeat in the 2010 legislative elections, halfway through his first term. “There’s an inherent danger in being in the White House and in the bubble” of power, he said, referring to elections unfavorable to the ruling party. Often presented as a president closer to the “middle class,” Biden seems to have been trapped in this “bubble” since the beginning of the campaign.

Although he regularly travels to fundraise for Democrats, the unpopular 79-year-old president has not ventured to campaign in states like Arizona. Obama expressed some concern about the direction of Democratic leaders until recently, in an interview in October.

At the risk of disconnecting Americans from their day-to-day concerns, he expressed concern that they were getting bogged down in abstract debates. And because of the election tactics adopted by Republicans who repeat the same messages against insecurity and inflation. “Being a little more assertive and a little more objective, I think it would go a long way in combating the propaganda that is constantly being broadcast by Fox News,” the far-right’s preferred network, Obama said.