Former President Barack Obama stood amongst the lush gardens of two major party megadonors yesterday and told the Democratic Party faithful assembled there not to hinge their hopes on him or another charismatic savior, Politico reports.
He began with an attempt to assuage the notion that their fears surrounding the Trump administration and the direction the country has been traveling in were unfounded. “You are right to be concerned,” Obama said early in his remarks. Before he was finished with that lead, however, he reinforced the notion that grassroots work was necessary to get the job done; hanging the hope of defeating the Republicans on a solitary figure just wouldn’t do.
“Do not wait for the perfect message, don’t wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you’re expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, ‘OK, I’ll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,'” Obama said to those present and the few media personalities given the go-ahead. “Because that’s part of what happened in the last election. I heard that too much.”
These are the first public remarks on political matters made available to the press in months as the former president has assumed a somewhat lower profile as late.
Some of his statements bore notes of contrition, with Obama coming close to admitting partial blame for the current state of the Democratic Party, though he was more focused on pointing the finger at excessive attention being paid to him as a charismatic figure rather than any neglect from the DNC or Democratic National Committee politically or financially. The DNC is currently saddled with an excessive amount of financial debt from election expenses and is facing a severe fundraising shortfall according to the most recently available reports offered up by CNN.
While obliquely dodging the usage of President Trump’s name while making his speech, Obama did elaborate on the issues he saw facing the country during the Trump administration, referring directly to an atmosphere of fear and negativity that the former President found distasteful.
“Fear is powerful,” Obama said. “Telling people that somebody’s out to get you, or somebody took your job, or somebody has it out for you, or is going to change you, or your community, or your way of life — that’s an old story and it has shown itself to be powerful in societies all around the world. It is a deliberate, systematic effort to tap into that part of our brain that carries fear in it.”
Obama avoided more particular and pressing subjects, declining to speak on the detention of migrant children or illegal aliens attempting to cross the southern border, nor would he speak to the matter of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s revelation that he was soon to retire when asked. He did speak briefly to the tragedy which had just occurred in the newspaper office shooting that took place in Maryland, offering condolences and the hope that it would help to reinforce calls for gun control legislation.
Those calling for a united message to rally behind were left lacking as Obama made it clear that a national message would come naturally as the Democratic Party candidates for the presidency made themselves known sooner to the 2020 election, revealing in and of itself a lack of faith in calls for President Trump’s impeachment from the hard-left wing of the Democrat base. Obama pointed to his old slogan as serving in the interim, one of hope and change, and went on to mock President Trump and his boosters.
“All these people that are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and constantly watching cable TV and howling at the moon, ‘What are we going to do?,’ their hair’s falling out, they can’t sleep,” Obama said. “The majority of the American people prefer a story of hope. A majority of the American people prefer a country that comes together rather than being divided. The majority of the country doesn’t want to see a dog-eat-dog world where everybody is angry all the time.”
Speaking of President Trump and those affiliated with him, Obama continued. “They’re mad even when they win.”
Obama: “If I have a regret during my presidency, it is that people were so focused on me and the battles we were having, particularly after we lost the House, that folks stopped paying attention up and down the ballot.” https://t.co/87ca2o7sBs— POLITICO (@politico) June 29, 2018
Promising better outcomes if his advice was taken to heart, Obama made it clear that the Democrats are taking the current administration very seriously as political adversaries and advised against underestimating the Republicans and their supporters.
Former President Obama concluded his remarks at the garden fundraiser by speaking about the necessity to engage with, and create, the energy needed to deliver actual votes and concrete support in the upcoming midterms and the following federal elections.