Two years ago who would have thought that then President Obama’s number one tormenter –Rep. Darrell Issa– would be on the sidelines as a Democratic Blue Wave threatened to flip his district? It’s 2018, and here we are. All that’s needed is an energized electorate.
The former President, who’s enjoying a post-term surge in popularity, is coming to California to appear with key House candidates for a rally in Irvine on Saturday.
Obama is set to appear alongside Democrats Mike Levin, who is running to win CA-49, the House seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista); Harley Rouda, running against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) in CA-48; Katie Porter, opposing Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in CA-45; Gil Cisneros, vying for Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-Fullerton) open seat in CA-39; Katie Hill, challenging Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) in CA-25; Josh Harder, opposing Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) in CA-10; and T.J. Cox, who is running against Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) in CA-21.
These seven Democratic candidates are running in GOP-held House Districts whose voters favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. Those seats include parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties, as well as the Central Valley. They’re all viewed as potential keys in the national fight to control the House.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Since leaving office, Obama has attended about half a dozen high-dollar fundraisers for groups such as the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He has also hit the campaign trail to help Democrats win governor’s seats in Virginia and New Jersey last year and recorded a robocall to help underdog Democrat Doug Jones capture a U.S. Senate seat in an Alabama special election.
But this weekend’s rally will mark his first stump speech this election season. A spokeswoman for Obama said Saturday’s event was just the beginning of a “focused, strategic” lineup of fall campaign appearances.
Aside from battleground House districts, spokeswoman Katie Hill said, Obama will also campaign in down-ballot races and contests crucial to the next round of redrawing political districts.
The New York Times article on this development suggests a reaction from the Tweeter-in-chief is likely.
By reclaiming an explicitly partisan role, Mr. Obama could ignite a volcanic reaction from Mr. Trump, who is intensely sensitive to criticism and has made dismantling Mr. Obama’s legacy an organizing goal. Since leaving office, Mr. Obama has avoided directly criticizing Mr. Trump in many cases, taking a posture of restraint that aides have described as denying Mr. Trump the chance to bury important policy debates beneath a personal feud.
Yet an angry reaction from Mr. Trump would be unlikely to trouble voters in California, where the president is deeply unpopular, or in several of the other states where Mr. Obama intends to campaign in the coming weeks. Mr. Obama is said to be especially determined to make the case against Republican economic policies, and to deliver a forceful message on health care, according to people briefed on his plans.
The exact location of Saturday’s event has not been announced. The rally is slated for the Anaheim Convention Center.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.