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Barack Obama Unloads On ‘Buzzkill’ Democrats And Cancel Culture

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WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 20: U.S. President Barack Obama listens before addressing the U.S. Conference of Mayors leadership with Vice President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House February 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.
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Former President Barack Obama offered some advice to his party heading into the fast-approaching November midterms, warning Democrats not to be “buzzkills” and calling for a move away from cancel culture.

Obama joined the hosts of the “Pod Save America” podcast for a wide-ranging interview that was released on Saturday, and he discussed everything from the ongoing war in Ukraine to the Supreme Court — but when it came to the midterm elections, he had some very specific advice for Democrats.

WATCH:

Dan Pfeiffer, who served as a senior advisor in Obama’s White House, opened the podcast with a question about the midterms.

“All right, we’re going to start with the midterms,” he said, and Obama replied, “Of course.”

“Because we’re getting serious here,” Pfeiffer continued. “So these midterms, like 2010, are happening in let’s say a sub-optimal economic environment. But sort of unlike 2010, Democrats have a handful of pretty powerful arguments that seem to be moving voters about who Republicans are.”

He went on to say the Democrats could win by pushing narratives that could be used to paint Republicans as more “extreme,” such as abortion access and the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill. He asked Obama to weigh in on whether or not he felt those things could be threaded together into a cohesive narrative on the campaign trail.

Obama said that he believed the main message had to be about preserving democracy — and for Democrats to do that, they had to find a way to build a “durable majority” in Washington, D.C.

“My family, my kids, work that gives me satisfaction, having fun. Hell, not being a buzzkill. And sometimes Democrats are,” Obama continued. “Sometimes people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells, and they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us, at any given moment, can say things the wrong way, make mistakes.”

He went on to address his party’s apparent fascination with cancel culture and made it clear that he thought it was a losing proposition.

“I think where we get into trouble sometimes is where we try to suggest that some groups are more – because they historically have been victimized more – that somehow they have a status that’s different than other people and we’re going around scolding folks if they don’t use exactly the right phrase,” he explained. “Or that identity politics becomes the principle lens through which we view our various political challenges.”

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