Theres a longstanding tradition in this country that former presidents stay out of the public eye so that their successors can have a chance to shine unchallenged. Unfortunately, however, Barack Obama seems to have no intention of following this tradition in any way.
The Hill reported that Obama is planning to reemerge onto the political scene this fall, though Democrats believe he will do so with caution. One aide said that this will be a “delicate dance” that aims to put Obama in the Democratic fray, but prevent him from remaining the face of the party.
The next few weeks will see Obama and his aides quietly plotting his comeback. Those close to him say that while he will play an active role in helping his party rebuild, much of his work will be behind the scenes. They also say that in the last few months, Obama has played a much larger role in the Democratic Party than is known to the public.
“He has to be careful,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. “At a moment when President Trump’s approval is falling so fast—including with his base—there is a risk for Obama taking center stage and triggering the energy that many Republicans currently lack.”
“He would be the target against which Trump would direct his fury,” added Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “From Trump’s perspective nothing better could happen.”
Jillson went on to say that a light Obama footprint on the national stage could allow breathing room for future Democratic leaders to emerge.
“He’ll tread lightly because he is not going to be the face of the party when it actually counts in 2020 and 2024,” Jillson added. “So the extent to which he would emerge and speak to a wide range of issues would preclude the emergence of someone else. They must find a standard bearer for future elections and I think he can at least in the short term suck up all the available oxygen.”
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