Barack's Back On the Campaign Trail

·2 min read
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the official White House portrait unveiling ceremony for himself and former First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the official White House portrait unveiling ceremony for himself and former First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

Look who’s back in the picture.

No, not the literal portrait that was hung at the White House this week, but the political one the Democratic party hopes to paint between now and midterm elections at the beginning of November. Former President Barack Obama, who for the most part has been quiet where campaigning and fundraising has concerned after leaving office back in 2016, is easing his way back on the scene to help Democrats in tough races with the hope of helping his party drag a continued Congressional majority across the finish line.

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The unveiling of his official White House portrait this week now seems like the kickoff of a mini tour in which Obama is reminding everybody he’s still at the top of the list of Democrats who can energize voters and get donors to open their checkbooks.

Obama hit a fundraiser for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee on Thursday, CNN’s Dan Merica reported, where tickets cost as much as $50,000 a head. He criticized what he characterized as Republicans’ attacks on democracy but also got political by praising his party for stepping up its “ground game”, a political term for last minute efforts to get out the vote. CNN had earlier reported that Obama planned to campaign for Democrats running for governor and in congressional races in battleground states.

Could that mean helping, say, Stacey Abrams and Raphael Warnock in Georgia? Maybe. Both of them are in tight contests in a swing state. Abrams’ campaign could use the boost after a New York Times story earlier this week questioned whether she’ll be able to unseat Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Warnock is doing better but still in a fight with Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee.

A rep from the DSCC said it couldn’t comment on Obama’s plans, but the group is currently pouring resources into targeting Black voters in kinds of races it seems the former president is likely to hit. That includes efforts in Georgia such as holding weekly events at Black barber shops in the Atlanta area and hosting a recent “Divine 9" cookout in the state.