It’s been more than three years since Barack Obama left the White House. The country’s first Black president spent eight historic years governing despite heavy opposition.
Now, as the new election cycle heats up, Obama is being called back into the political fray in what is sure to be a difficult fight for former Vice-President, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Obama was succeeded by President Donald Trump, who for years claimed that he was not born in the United States through what was known as the “birther” theory.
Many times during the Trump administration, the president has called his predecessor’s name to cast blame for various problems in the country. Despite that, his name still remains formidable and may be key in Biden’s efforts to win over the POTUS in November.
A lengthy article from The New York Times shares why Obama has been cautious about jumping on the political circuit, a move that some call “hesitant.”
“I don’t think he is hesitant. I think he is strategic,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former top Obama aide said. “He has always been strategic about using his voice; it’s his most valuable commodity.”
The article notes two popular pieces penned about the former president. In one, columnist Drew Magary writes that Obama should “emerge from his cave and offer — no wait, DEMAND — a way forward.” The popular Medium article was titled, “Where the Hell is Barack Obama?”
A counterargument, that Obama does not any longer owe the country leadership, was written a year earlier in 2018 by The Root’s Monique Judge, “We don’t own him.”
She wrote, “We aren’t entitled to him. You don’t own him. You aren’t entitled to him. The days of America benefiting off the free labor of black folks are long over.”
According to The New York Times, the truth is somewhere in the middle. In the middle of a deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the ever-growing civil rights campaign for police reform, Obama is a trusted, and necessary voice.
The report also says Obama speaks with the Biden campaign. The former POTUS has offered Biden advice to keep his speeches and tweets short and to the point. He has also noted that the campaign should be focused on being a referendum rebuking Trump and his policies.
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