The current Presidential elections have forced the former President to get back on the campaign trail.
With less than two weeks to go for the Presidential elections to come to an end, former President Barack Obama has returned to the campaign trail in support of his former Vice President Joe Biden. Though his initial plans were to stay out of politics following his second term, political analysts believe that Donald Trump has forced him to re-enter the spotlight. Biden and Kamala Harris have, nonetheless, limited the number of appearances he makes in order to not "overuse him." Meanwhile, incumbent President Trump continues to vilify and hurl insults at Obama during his own campaign stops, CNN reports.
"Former presidents tend not to delve too deeply into politics and certainly not the politics of their successors," said David Axelrod, a longtime adviser to Obama. "I think that was his plan, but Trump changed that plan." He made his first campaign stop on Wednesday, making his first in-person appearance in Philadelphia. It was the first of a handful to come. Obama's efforts will be concentrated in battleground states where voting has already begun. He will particularly focus on gaining votes from Black men, Latinos, and younger voters. Unlike Trump, however, the fight is not personal—it is one for the preservation of American democracy. Axelrod explained, "He doesn't view it as a personal grudge match with Trump. He views it as an existential matter for the country and for democracy."
Biden and Harris, nonetheless, are using his presence with caution. Obama's track record as a candidate himself is nothing less than stellar; he has not lost an election in the past 20 years. However, when he campaigned aggressively for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the outcome was less than desirable. The former President's plans are therefore incredibly strategic, which Axelrod believes is a smart move. He stated, "They've been using him in targeted digital appeals to constituencies that Democrats need to arouse in this election: young people and people of color, who did not come out in the numbers that Clinton had hoped four years ago."
President Trump, on the other hand, has been less than frugal with his mentions of his "arch nemesis" Obama. Though he is popular with Democratic and independent voters, the rivalry remains a motivating force for Trump's base. Obama understands this, which is why his "attacks" have been more nuanced. "He's always understood if he was out there constantly, people would want to turn this into a Trump-Obama race," Axelrod pointed out. "It wouldn't be fair to Biden and it wouldn't be helpful to Biden."
In addition to supporting the Biden-Harris campaign, he is also making efforts to help the Democratic party gain control of the Senate. He is set to appear in four separate television ads for candidates in Maine, Michigan, South Carolina, and Georgia. Other contests are likely to be added soon. Obama stated at a campaign stop, "Make sure if Joe Biden wins, he'll have a Senate ready to work with them to move our country forward." It is imperative, he believes, that the Democrats win this year's White House and Senate. Obama affirmed regarding Trump, "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. And the consequences of that failure are severe."