Have you noticed how little we have seen of former President Barack Obama during this hotly contested mid-term election season?
Why do you suppose?
Well, here, from Ben Smith’s article at buzzfeednews.com, is what Obama had to say during one of his rare appearances – this one in Nevada – and then, Smith’s assessment of why he is making himself so scarce:
Obama spent much of his speech on a long defense of his own presidency, and condemnation of Republican governance.
“When you hear all this talk about ‘economic miracles’ right now, remember who started it,” Obama said. He denounced Trump’s attempts to pressure the FBI and Department of Justice to target political foes.
“That is not how America works. That is how some tin-pot dictatorship works,” he said.
But Obama didn’t come to Nevada to make news, and he mostly didn’t. This is the box he’s in now. Even as he’s edged away from the tradition of post-presidential silence, there’s a more practical reason for his muted campaigning: He’s said to be afraid his presence would backfire, give Trump a foil, and energize the Republicans who Democrats hope will stay home in November.
Let’s try to wrap our arms around this.
First, we “learn” (you can select any word or phrase you think will fit better) that the economic boom taking place during President Trump’s almost two years in office is actually retrofitted to the Obama Presidency.
Next, we find out that it is Trump, not Obama & Co., using the FBI to target opponents. Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, those folks must have been Trump pre-presidency moles, you see.
And then we have that tin-pot dictator insult, based on the previously-noted ridiculous attack line about the FBI and DOJ.
Finally, a bit of sanity: writer Smith pointing out that there are many places where Barack Obama’s appearance – you know the great guy who made everything happen – would anger voters and work against the Democrats he would be speaking on behalf of.
Is that really the way things work?
If so, will someone explain the overflow crowds at every Trump campaign event around the country – which no Democrat, certainly not Barack Obama, has ever come close to generating?
By contrast, if the Obama event took place at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Gymnasium, as the article suggests (but does not say in so many words), his audience of 2,000 managed to find seats in a gym that holds 18,000 – 19,500, depending on which event is being held. Even if you assume one-third of the place was unusable because it was behind the stage Mr. Obama spoke from, that would leave it over three quarters empty anyway.
Yep, that’s the way they respond to Presidents who saved the country these days. Just ask Barack.