Former President Barack Obama is officially back on the campaign trail after agreeing to stump for Democrat Ralph Northam in his run to be Virginia’s next governor. David Turner, a spokesperson for Northam, said that Obama agreed this week to campaign for the candidate but, said that he wouldn’t go into any further detail. An Obama aide confirmed that the former president had agreed during a congratulatory call.
The race for governor in Virginia is one of just two gubernatorial contests this year. It will certainly be the next high-profile race that people will cast as a template for the major elections in November of 2018. Obama carried Virginia in both 2008 and 2012 and will certainly help Northam improve his support among younger voters and African American voters.
Northam’s opponent is Ed Gillespie, a longtime Republican party leader. He recently dismissed the potential appeal of the former president. “How many Democratic surrogates is it going to take to try to drag the lieutenant governor across the finish line?,” he said. “Virginians deserve to hear from candidates directly, in their own voices, about their own ideas and proposals.”
President Obama has been vocal recently about President Trump’s agenda. He has criticized the travel ban and the decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords. He also has made his position known about the recent health care bill. But he did not campaign for any congressional elections this year.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond last weekend, Eric Holder said Virginia is at the “epicenter of the political universe in 2017.” Holder also promised to bring “all-stars” to the campaign trail. You don’t get more “all-star” than the former president.
Gillespie has his own all-star, former President George Bush attended a March fundraiser for the Republican candidate and wrote a $25,000 check for his campaign. Gillespie served as chairman of the Republican National Committee in Bush’s presidential term, and he later brought Gillespie into the White House as a counselor.
What do you think about Obama getting back on the campaign trail for Ralph Northam?
Credit: Washington Post