2018 Just Got More Complicated For Trump And The GOP: Obama Is Returning To Politics
If President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress were already worried about a blue tsunami sweeping away their majorities in the House and Senate come November, they will now have another major factor to contend with: Barack Obama.
The popular former president enjoyed a busy year since leaving the White House but has largely stayed under the radar. Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, Obama is reportedly planning to return to politics in 2018, setting the stage for a prominent role in the lead-up to the crucial midterm elections.
Close associates of the 44th president predict a politically active year, including campaign stops and other displays of public support. Obama will “continue to be politically active in 2018, with more endorsements and more campaigning,” his spokeswoman Katie Hill told the news outlet.
The president spent part of 2017 jet-setting around the globe and making the most of some time off after eight years of nonstop scrutiny and governing, but he always maintained that he would never leave politics behind. Before leaving office, Obama vowed to remain politically relevant and work with and endorse candidates who sought to move the country forward.
While Trump has recorded record low approval ratings for a president at the end of his first year, Obama has only become more popular in retirement, with a favorability rating of over 60 percent. Near the end of 2017, Obama even polled with a higher approval rating than Trump in the ruby-red state of Alabama.
So Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail should scare Trump and Republican candidates across the board. In a September poll, 52 percent of respondents to a poll said they wished Obama were still in office. An active role by the former president in the 2018 elections is likely to further fire up an already energized Democratic base.
In 2017, Obama made just a single campaign appearance, showing up in Virginia to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, and he won. Obama’s presence in Virginia also helped Democrats unseat an unprecedented number of Republican state officials. In 2018, you can expect to see him on the campaign trail more often.
Be afraid, Republicans. Be very afraid.