Imagine a politician so terrible at his job that his leadership of his political party led to it losing 1,000 seats in state legislatures across the country, as well as 12 governorships, 10 Senate seats, and 63 House seats. Imagine that the coalition he built was so fragile that it couldn’t be replicated by the most famous woman in American politics, who lost a presidential race to a reality TV game show star. Imagine that his politics of polarization was so toxic that Americans rejected its very basis. Imagine that his key piece of legislation was so unpopular that the opposing party ran on it and won consistently for most of a decade.
Would it be a good move for him to step back into the spotlight for another election cycle?
Well, Republicans are in luck. According to The Hill:
Former President Barack Obama will reemerge on the national scene this fall, though Democrats expect him to do so with caution.
One aide describes the beginning of a “delicate dance” that aims to put Obama in the Democratic fray but prevents him from remaining the face of the party.
Good luck with that.
Obama sucks the air out of every room. He’s a major celebrity, a much-beloved figure by the media and Hollywood. Can you imagine him taking second position at any rally? In any headline?
Furthermore, his popularity isn’t transferable. His appeal among minority groups is strong, but he can’t simply push minorities to go out and vote for non-Obama candidates, as Hillary Clinton learned. So what “delicate dance” can he engage in that will help his party?
The answer: none. So far, his guidance – which has been ongoing, according to reports – hasn’t helped Democrats one iota. While The Hill reports that Obama will engage in more fundraising and strategizing, Democrats have no strategy and are trailing Republicans by a factor of two in fundraising for 2018. And Obama stepping on stage again will make 2018 a referendum not on Trump’s leadership, but on whether Americans want Obama’s blustering, meddlesome emptiness leading a major party again.
And Democrats aren’t just saddled with Obama.
Hillary, too, may become a major 2018 figure. Her book, What Happened, is slated for release in just a few months. That will prompt the left-leaning media to replay the 2016 race, one of the few bright spots for the Trump administration and campaign. Hillary’s unpopularity remains below President Trump’s.
Democrats lack a leader. But they also lack a program, a solid base of ideas, and an enthusiastic group of voters willing to turn out for them.
Obama won’t solve any of that.
So go for it, Mr. President!