For the most part, Former President Barack Obama has remained hidden in the shadows after he left the White House at the beginning of the year. Other than minor events or activities, he hasn’t shown himself. However, Obama is planning to re-emerge on the political scene in fall.
Democrats believe his entrance back into politics will be a slow one and some even believe it will be a “delicate dance.” The difficulty that Democrats will face with Obama is that they need to bring him back “in” while, keeping him from becoming the face of the party again.
His aides will be closely working with him over the next few weeks to determine what his fall schedule will be. Though he will have the occasional active role in front of people to help rebuild the party, most of his new agenda will be passive and behind closed doors.
One primary event Obama will take part in will be the Democratic fundraising. The former president has already started to help fundraise for the DNC and DNRC on a minor level. According to The Hill, Obama has been participating in more than what most people thought.
Obama’s recent silence and hidden moves are him not wanting to be “a foil” for President Trump according to a top ally. Trump over the last few months has made it difficult to remain silent. In the last few months, Trump has stated that Obama did nothing about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections, heckled him for not attending the National Scout Jamboree, and picked apart his policies on health care and North Korea.
Obama’s silence is, according to Julian Zelizer, a critical move that must remain. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. Her opinion on why Obama must continue to be silent is below:
“He has to be careful. At a moment when President Trump’s approval is falling so fast – including with his base – there is a risk for Obama taking center stage and triggering the energy that many Republicans currently lack.”
Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University added to Zelizer’s statement:
“He would be the target against which Trump would direct his fury. From Trump’s perspective, nothing better could happen.”
“He’ll tread lightly because he is not going to be the face of the party when it actually counts in 2020 and 2024. So the extent to which he would emerge and speak to a wide range of issues would preclude the emergence of someone else. They must find a standard-bearer for future elections, and I think he can at least in the short term suck up all the available oxygen.”
Democrats also fear that Hillary Clinton will also “suck up” the past and take people away from future issues. With her new book coming out, Clinton will describe why she believes she lost the election. The book will again direct people to focus back on Hillary Clinton, who has little chance of running for president again. A Democratic strategist spoke on this issue saying:
“It’s wise for both Clinton and Obama to hang back at this point. Otherwise, our party will have an even harder time rebounding. …We already lack a party leader, we lack vision, we lack an identity. We can’t remain stuck in the past.”
Credit: The Hill