After just six months of leaving his term as President of the United States, former President Obama will formally be rejoining the political universe this week when he leads a fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC).
During the small closed-door event, Obama will focus on trying to restabilize both the national and state levels of his party. According to the Washington Post, “Obama does not want to cast “a long shadow,” in the words of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, but he remains a central figure for a party that has yet to settle on a single strategy to combat President Trump.”
During an interview, Perez said that many Democrats have approached Obama saying, “You’ve got to get out front on issue X or issue Y,” but Obama apparently wants to “build the bench” for the Democratic party instead. The Democratic party lost massive influence during Obama’s two-term presidency. Perez goes on to connect Obama’s run as senator and president in the same interview:
“Because tomorrow’s president is today’s state senator. And he knows that very personally. When you lose 900 state legislative seats, those are people who could have been the next governors and senators and Cabinet positions, and that is something that he’s very committed to.”
Just as Obama was leaving his presidency, he took part in a final news conference in which he stated he would only go into national political debates in “certain moments where I think our core values may be at state.” However, he has already come out several times when his legacy has been attacked and now during this move.
The Washington Post goes deeper into the meaning of the fundraiser reporting the following:
“The fundraiser is a more targeted political act, focused on the upcoming legislative apportionment that will establish the electoral playing field for the next decade.
The process of drawing districts differs by state: some have independent commissions, while most are drawn by state legislators and subject to approval by governors. But even with those variations, the 2017 and 2018 cycle will feature 38 gubernatorial races and 322 state senate races with four-year terms. Perez described it as ‘a 12- or 13-year cycle, because whoever wins is going to control redistricting in a very real way.’”
Credit: Washington Post