Thursday, June 09, 2016

Game On

President Obama made it official today: he formally backed Hillary as the nominee for the Democratic Party for President.

Obama also talked to Bernie Sanders today, after which:

...(Sanders) vowed to compete in next Tuesday's Washington, D.C. primary and then hopes to meet with Clinton. He also said he will fight for his signature issues -- like college affordability, income inequality and taking on Wall Street -- during the Democratic National Convention in July.
"I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign. I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump," he said.
"Donald Trump would clearly, to my mind and I think a majority of Americans, be a disaster as president of the United States," Sanders said. "It is unbelievable to me, and I say this in all sincerity, that the Republican party would have a candidate for president who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign."

After all that, Obama released a video that looks like it was made about a month ago, but what the hell, even *I* admit this whole thing was inevitable:

Here's why this is big news:

Obama is currently in positive approval numbers in most of the polls. He's BEEN popular with the Democratic party faithful for a long time. Getting him out and campaigning on the stump for Hillary will give her a huge boost among his supporters.

Obama can openly point to this as a Legacy election: that what's at stake are his key successes with health care reform, gay rights especially for marriage, various economic and financial reforms, and preventing Republicans from nuking Social Security and other social safety nets from orbit.

By working with an anointed successor in Hillary, Obama can argue to the majority of Americans who backed him in 2008 and 2012 to back her as a proxy third term. Granted, Hillary is going to want to campaign on her own agenda: however, campaigning as "Obama's Third Term" is a great way to keep the 2012 Blue States on your side of the Electoral College.

It's interesting to note we've rarely had a situation like this over the last 30-40 years. The previous time we had a sitting incumbent, that was Bush the Lesser, so obviously McCain didn't want much help from him in 2008. In 2000, Clinton was available to campaign for Gore, but Gore wanted to put distance between himself and Slick Willie's sex scandals... and that was one of the steps that cost Gore the election.

The only time since 1960 we've honestly had a situation where a sitting incumbent could openly back/campaign for his party was Reagan in 1988, something that helped Bush the Elder a lot with a doubting GOP voter base.

But now, here's Obama, riding high on a wave of popularity while the Republicans stumble about proving how inept they are at governance and campaigning... Hillary is about get the best kind of backup a candidate can get.

For all the Republicans' effort to paint Obama as a failed President, he has a sizable portfolio of successes that can bring the voters out to protect those successes and vote for the Democratic candidate likely to build from that foundation of success.

Better yet, Obama can easily whack at Donald Trump without breaking a sweat. He'd already shredded the Trumpster once before about Donald's obsessions regarding Obama's birth certificate - Trump's Birther creds are how he built his Far Right fanbase - and Obama has the temperament and the skill to flatten that con artist five different ways to Friday. Trump can do all he can - he can try - to insult Obama, but Obama can mic drop on him on any issue and brush it off his shoulder before heading back to the White House for dinner.

Trump and the Republicans are about to head up against three veteran campaigners - Hillary, her husband Bill, and now Obama - who can cut those pretenders into a thousand strips of raw meat.

This is gonna be like watching the 1927 New York Yankees taking on the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Or the 2016 Golden State Warriors taking on the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers.

Get the popcorn.


Infidel753 said...

YES!!! At last the good guys are coming together. It sounds like Bernie, too, will be with the program as far as the election itself is concerned, even if he rightly keeps fighting on the issues that matter to him, as they do to many of us.

The insult-powered fascist orangutan won't know what hit him.

dinthebeast said...

Don't forget Elizabeth Warren. She seems to me to be striking a critical balance between making sense and outrage that the pundits have all been saying this election is all about. All in all, Trump has specifically attacked and pissed off all of the right people to stomp him into the dirt. I don't want to get too optimistic too soon, but perhaps this election won't be as ugly as I was fearing, and perhaps for once the Democrats will stand up and proudly make their case instead of being browbeaten into apologizing for who and what they are. Perhaps Molly Ivins was right about politics.

-Doug in Oakland

Pinku-Sensei said...

I embedded video of Elizabeth Warren's endorsement on the Rachel Maddow Show along with the Obama video you included in A tale of two endorsements. It's a shame that the Bernie or Bust types are so mad at her. Let's see if they get over it after the convention. Otherwise, it's a long five months until the election.