Obama kiss of death? Ex-president set to campaign for Joe Biden
In another sign of Democrats acting as if maybe they aren't cruising to victory as polls claim, they're wheeling out former president Obama in a bid to put Biden over the top.
According to the New York Post:
Former President Barack Obama reportedly is poised to hit the campaign trail for Joe Biden, his former vice president, as the 2020 presidential race enters its crucial final stretch.
"President Obama plans to hit the trail soon, in addition to all the other activities he's undertaken all year in support of electing VP Biden — as he's said, we all have to do everything we can to win on November 3," an aide to Obama told ABC News.
That would be the same Obama who thus far has been absent from the campaign trail all these months, including even the past couple of weeks when Joe Biden has ventured out from his basement hideaway to zero crowds. Unlike Biden, Obama can draw a crowd, even if it's done with scrupulous social distancing, which is likely to be what they present for the fawning press cameras.
The guilt here is pretty obvious, too — note how that aide in the quote above made sure he slipped in that clause about "in addition to all the other activities he's undertaken all year in support of electing VP Joe Biden" as if Obama had done anything more than an occasional Zoom meeting. The Post continues:
"He's doing enough for our campaign," Biden told reporters on Tuesday, according to Fox News. "He'll be out on the trail and he's doing well."
This rather sounds as though Biden's been getting a few questions about this as he turns up for zero-crowd rallies at this late date within the campaign.
Recall also that Obama took a long time to endorse Biden for president, despite working with him at close quarters for eight long years. He endorsed Biden only when all the other candidates had bailed out and then he had to.
It calls to mind that Obama's contempt for Biden is very well known.
"Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f--- things up," Obama reportedly told another Democrat, as per Politico.
"You don't have to do this, Joe, you really don't," the New York Times reported Obama telling Biden ahead of his campaign announcement. The Daily Beast, writing in August 2019, put it this way:
According to the Times, "Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago — responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump."
The Times also reported that Obama met with top Biden advisers in March and, according to the sources, requested that the ex-veep's team do what they can so that Biden does not "embarrass himself" or "damage his legacy."
There are countless other examples.
Besides that contempt, Joe Biden should be careful what he wishes for — Obama in fact has endorsed very few candidates who came up winners.
When Obama endorses some poor schmoe, the other guy tends to win.
According to Patriot Post, Obama campaigned for the following losing candidates:
Obama has a miserable record when it comes to electing anyone but himself. Whether he was trying to help some Democrat win a governorship or a Senate seat, Obama's record has been abominable. By now, he must be something like 0-40.
Heck, even campaigning with Michelle in Georgia, a state that is 31% black, the two of them couldn't get Stacey Abrams into the governor's mansion. Democrats would insist, as the Obamas and Ms. Abrams have been doing for the past two years, that she lost because of voter suppression. It's a tough argument to make because in a state with a population of 10,500,000 — 3,150,000 of whom are black — she received nearly two million votes. Her problem was that Brian Kemp received 55,000 more than her. It hardly seems like voter suppression when 74% of all registered voters, including blacks, cast votes in that election.
Charlie Spiering tweeted that actually, the list was pretty extended:
Obama campaigned for the following losing candidates:— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 7, 2018
And it's far from all of them. Think of the various special elections where Obama's endorsed lost, too.
It's so bad that there are many Democratic candidates who don't want his endorsement at all.
And even Obama knows this, according to this 2018 piece in the Washington Examiner, holding off his endorsements of Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana for this very reason.
Biden should be careful what he wishes for. Not only will Obama's capacity to draw a crowd stand in stark contrast to his own miserable efforts, but Obama's presence will remind many of how little regard he had for Biden, too. But worst of all, Biden's gotten himself the great anti-Midas of the Democrats' campaign trail, given that everything he touches turns to something that isn't gold.
As the Obamatons say, let's hope.
Image credit: Eric Drost, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.