Former President Barack Obama will soon hit the campaign trail, in an effort to aid the Democratic Party in this fall’s midterms, The Hill reports.
Obama is reportedly expected to urge Democrats across the United States to vote. Evidently, the Democratic Party sees potential low voter turnout as a major threat ahead of midterms.
While former President Barack Obama has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office, he has reportedly remained an influential figure within the Democratic Party. As Politico reported in June, citing individuals close to the DNC, Obama held a series of secret meetings with potential 2020 Democratic contenders.
According to Politico‘s sources, while worried about the direction the U.S. is headed in under President Trump, Obama is more worried about the happenings within the Democratic Party which, according to the former president, needs to position itself ahead of midterms, and ahead of the 2020 presidential race.
New reports from The Hill confirm that Obama’s presence is a weapon the Democratic Party hopes to use in midterms. Obama will reportedly kick off his push by delivering a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, and then continue the mini campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and California.
However, not all Democrats want Barack Obama’s help.
Obama’s towering presence would be risky in states where Donald Trump enjoys voter support. Local races, according to some Democrats, need to stay local, free from outside interference, and without political surrogates.
“We’re not going to use any surrogates. Surrogates are fine but we don’t need them. The race is myself and Matt Rosendale and that’s the way we want to keep it,” Montana Democrat Jon Tester told The Hill.
“He threatened to campaign against me once so I don’t think he’s coming out there,” North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp said, adding that she thinks Obama won’t visit her native state.
Barack Obama’s campaign efforts are, according to some Democrats, a double-edged sword. In conservative, pro-Trump states, his presence could galvanize Trump supporters, Republicans, and therefore hinder the Democratic Party’s chances, they reportedly claim.
However, former President Barack Obama will be involved this autumn, but “in a very Obamaesque, smart way,” a source close to the DNC told The Hill.
Obama “will echo his call to reject the rising strain of authoritarian politics and policies,” former Obama communications director Katie Hill said.
As The Hill noted, Obama headlined various Democratic Party fundraisers past June, and in September last year, the former president has remained involved, and will likely continue to play an important shadow role in the Democratic Party’s campaign efforts.