Obama Isn’t Sitting 2018 Out. Here’s the Ex-President’s Plan. | NTK Network Obama Isn’t Sitting 2018 Out. Here’s the Ex-President’s Plan.

Obama Isn’t Sitting 2018 Out. Here’s the Ex-President’s Plan.

Most former presidents take years before wading back into the world of politics. Barack Obama plans to enlist a 15,000-person alumni network.

By NTK Staff | 01.18.2018 @11:00am
Obama Isn’t Sitting 2018 Out. Here’s the Ex-President’s Plan.

The stakes for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections are high for Republicans and Democrats alike, and both parties plan to bring out the big guns in the home stretch.

With no real party leader to rely on, Democrats are enlisting former President Barack Obama to hit the campaign trail this fall. Although highly irregular for former presidents, Obama’s return to politics has long been rumored. He even hit the campaign trail in 2017 on behalf of Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.

On Thursday, just two days before the one-year anniversary of Obama leaving office, his team leaked to Politico his political plans for 2018:

[W]ith the midterms approaching, people close to him say he’ll shift into higher gear: campaigning, focusing his endorsements on down ballot candidates, and headlining fundraisers. He’ll activate his 15,000-member campaign alumni association for causes and candidates he supports — including the 40 who are running for office themselves. He’s already strategizing behind the scenes with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and Eric Holder, who’s chairing his redistricting effort.

The most likely stops will be where races for governor, or perhaps Senate, overlap with competitive races for the House and state legislature. Obama won’t endorse in primaries, but once he does weigh in, will be open to a range of ways to help, from rallies like the one he did for Ralph Northam in the Virginia governor’s race to the robocall he recorded for Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race.

Obama’s presence on the campaign trail in 2018 will only make it more difficult for Democrats to find a new leader, particularly one who can challenge President Trump in 2020. But that fact isn’t changing his strategy.

In fact, a spokesman for Obama said the ex-president is “keenly aware” of that fact.

Despite his popularity among Democrats, Obama was roundly criticized for neglecting the Democratic National Committee and other structural components of the Democrat machine in favor of promoting his personal brand. It appears post-presidency life, and the subsequent election of Donald Trump to be his successor, has not changed Obama’s approach.

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